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Tonic Music for Mental Health is a not-for-profit organisation (company number 08093898) based in Portsmouth. Established June 2012. Terry Hall (The Specials) and Kevin Cummins (Music Photographer) are both Tonic patrons.
Tonic raises awareness and challenges the stigma often associated with mental illness through music and art based events and activities in association with an array of established and local artists and venues. Everything we facilitate is open to all residents.
Earlier this year the wonderful Southsea Coffee in Osborne Rd raised an incredible £6,000 through shaving their beautiful heads & local artists donating amazing original work that was auctioned. With the generosity of everyone whom contributed, Tonic have been lucky enough to sign a lease & secured rent for the first year for our first shop & studio at 119 Highland Rd, Southsea.
Tonic HQ shop & studio will be the new site for an eclectic array of music & art workshops, masterclasses & music tuition to help facilitate recovery and help give positive energy to support anyone suffering from or affected by mental health. The studio will also be home to two Tonic artists in residence. The shop will enable us to help make the project self financing & will serve as a safe place for people to meet others, socialise, chill, gain confidence, listen to vinyl, read a book, have a coffee & get creative. We will also have a small exhibition space for local artists wishing to exhibit work.
Tonic needs your support…
We have been working hard all summer to complete work in the building & still have a way to go. We have been given some items of furniture but desperately need support to purchase equipment to deliver workshops and tuition free to our community. As this is our first venture, we need a computer, printer, sewing machines, silk screening equipment, a small fridge, guitars, bass, keyboard, art supplies, record player, speakers etc…
We also need funds to pay fees for our facilitators. The facilitators will be mostly local musicians and artists & people whom have attended workshops who find the confidence to facilitate their own workshops. There will be lots of opportunities for people to develop their creativity in music and / or art and Tonic will support individuals as much as possible.
We also hope to offer opportunities to help organise Tonic gigs and events, publications, podcasts, outreach and so much more. We hope in time the Tonic shop will finance the projects but to help get us started we really do need your support. If you can donate, any amount you can afford will help us. If you have a fundraising idea you would like to organise please do get in touch at: [email protected]
Huge thanks & hope to see you in the shop & studio when we open at 119 Highland Rd, Southsea.
Steph Langan (Founder & Director, Tonic Music for Mental Health)
Some background info...
Tonic music workshops, gigs, art groups and community projects take place throughout the year. All music and art workshops we facilitate are free, open to all and take place in established music venues. Music workshops help build confidence and self esteem, giving an opportunity for all participants to perform at a music gig. Art groups create artwork for Tonic gigs, free art hidden around Cities & festivals for people to find and keep, Zines, music inspired beermats, crafts, stencil, graffiti & street art, mindfulness colouring books, thought provoking affirmations & more. Weekly art & music groups previously took place at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea.
Tonic financially supports musicians and artists experiencing mental illness through funding art and music projects that serve to promote individual recovery and provide a route to enabling the individual to earn an income from their craft. Projects include funding an EP for band The High Wire Act and paying for an art space and start up costs for project In A Bind. Tonic also financially supports musicians and artists plan, run & facilitate music and art groups.
Tonic provides voluntary and work experience opportunities for creative people who have direct experience of mental illness.
Tonic does not currently receive grants or funding – we are totally independent. All money is raised through fundraising activities, organising events and participating in various festivals, street markets, gigs and community events.
In October 2013 we organised a sell out show (1500 people) at Portsmouth Pyramids with an impressive lineup including Terry Hall (The Specials), From The Jam, Dub Pistols, Parlour Flames (Bonehead’s new band), The Lambrettas and compared by Eddie Piller. Throughout 2014 &2015, we organised numerous music gigs (including Little Barrie, Dub Pistols, Fay Hallam to name a few), free music workshops facilitated by Vinny Peculiar, community art groups, free art projects and have taken part in local events including Victorious Festival &The IOW Scooter Rally to raise awareness of mental health, promote the work we do and raise funds.
In July 2016 we collaborated with Southsea Sound (Albert Rd) to provide two free four-week pilot music courses for people with experience of mental health issues.
To keep up-to-date with Tonic please visit:
To view our short promotional film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMvoRPO1EvU
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