About Us1

The Bridport Mind Fest

The Bridport Mind Fest is an all age festival, being promoted in the schools as well as the adult world.

The Bridport Mind Fest has grown out of HUGS* with the idea of providing a framework for many organisations within which we can all get to know something more about Mental Wellbeing, the spectrum of mental health we all find ourselves part of and how it affects us all. The motto of the Festival is

Mental Health Mental Wealth

We have been overwhelmed by the way the Festival has mushroomed from simply exploring the idea of a festival to being a six-day festival with eighteen workshops by different organisations, five ongoing events throughout the festival and seven major events. Two of these are being donated by Angie Le Mar and Clive Stafford Smith both of whom have international reputations. Thank You, Angie and Clive. Thank you to everyone who is running a workshop. Thank you also to all the people who are giving their time for free. No one is being paid!

Through your interest in it, you have become part of the Bridport Mind Fest. You can add your name to the long list of people who are playing a part in it. They range from all those who are putting on workshops, major events, stewarding, lending their premises, supporting it financially and in many other ways as well as the committee. Thank you.

We are very grateful to those who have donated through our crowdfunding page and else-where. In particular, we are grateful to the Town Council for having the faith to make a grant when the festival was only an idea, and Dorset County Council for donating for the festivals work with children and young people.

The Minds behind Mind Fest

Simon, chair of HUGS, the Hughes Unit Group Supporters, having witnessed the effects of mental illness on peers and loved ones throughout his life, thought it would be a good idea to have a festival of the mind. Led by Simon, the event has been organised by members of HUGS and a wider team drawn from Bridport including the Creative Minds Team.

Some of the many who are behind the Festival

Your committee are;

  • Simon Williams chairman coordinating structure, programme and Website
  • Richard West Treasurer covering fund raising, crowdfunding pledges and finance
  • Gill Smith Secretary
  • Lesley Archibald covering Publicity
  • David Powell covering liaison with the Primary schools
  • Arthur Woodgate covering liaison with the Sir John Colfox Academy
  • Louise Ramsden covering The Art Exhibition and facebook page
  • Colin Tracy covering House Design publications and the art Exhibition
  • Kelvin Clayton coordinating contacts with third party organisations and the Town Hall
  • Caroline Gamble Contact for workshops

We all owe grateful thanks to

  • Laura Callaway who made a fantastic contribution in shooting and editing the video.
  • Bridport Radio for setting up the structure of the web site
  • Zac Dixon for the striking Logo,
  • Alfred Ross, Ellena Musz, and Dahlia Twigger for poster designs
  • Gemma Aldred Programming at the Arts Centre for advice and support
  • Dee Fenton for coordinating all the various intricacies of organising the festival at the arts centre
  • Lizzie Hornby and Angelica Kennard for helping with allocations at the Chapel in the Garden
  • Daryl Chambers of the Town Council for organising the hardware
  • The Team at the Bridport Tourist Information Centre for ticketing the Festival
  • Bridport Museum
  • The leisure Centre
  • And Everyone who is doing a workshop
  • And many more


*HUGS, The Hughes Unit Group Supporters, is a mental health organisation founded by eight in-patients from the Hughes Unit. There are about a hundred members. Mostly from the old Hughes Unit catchment area of Bridport, Lyme Regis and Beaminster, but with an increasing number from North Dorset. About two thirds are service users and one third carers, some of the carers are also service users. It holds regular meetings. Its work is fact based and as such the Chairman was asked to participate in the redesign of Mental Health services in Western Dorset by the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group. A number of reports on mental health provision have been written by members.

Email address hughesunitserviceusers@gmail.com