Soup Kitchen Speech

Simon  Williams, Chairman of Bridport Mind Fest says:

I have come to realise that we walk beside the mind all our lives. It can be a brilliant creative friend, but it can take us to dark places. That is why I started the six day Bridport Mind Fest.

I wonder how many of you have ever had a nightmare? Imagine that going on 24/7. Inescapable, terrifying, totally locked in. and not asking for help because you are too scared to. Imagine someone incessantly telling you to kill yourself, Psychosis; or a different condition, depression, more common, Eating disorders, Bipolar, the impact of cyber bullying, Or never being certain something is quite right, done properly or can be put to rest, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

One in four of us will experience these or other conditions. Bridport is no different to anywhere else. Last year’s Bridport Mood wall showed that. We are all on a spectrum of mental wellbeing. Bridport Mind Fest aims to tackle the stigma attached to mental illness. It gets people of all ages, whether in school or elderly, or in between, talking about their own experiences.


Talking about it and knowing where to get help leads to a less severe onset of mental illness,. By catching it early through prompt diagnosis, individuals suffer less, there is less impact on partners, family, friends and colleagues and thus the whole community. This clinical aim underpins our Festival. It makes Bridport a kinder and more tolerant place. It is also an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the power of the mind through numerous creative events.


The Festival impacts on all of Bridport, the surrounding areas and local towns. In the Bridport Lyme Regis Beaminster triangle there are over 400 seriously mentally ill. In the Bridport practice there will be over four thousand people who are experiencing mental difficulties of some sort. The impact on all those who share their lives is immense, probably three quarters of the population come across it somewhere. Not talking about things, loneliness leads to people losing one fifth of their lives. One in ten children will have a diagnosable condition at some time during their school lives, that’s three in every class.


In order to provide the festival to everyone regardless of their means everything is free or by donation. The donations for individual events only cover part of the cost of funding the festival. We need funds for printing, insurance, venue hire, workshop and speakers expenses


How would your donation help us?  For example It would help pay for an event we are coproducing with Bridport Youth Centre. Dizraeli a young rap artist who has his own issues and talks about mental health and involves the issues in his own music. He speaks about suicide and the high rates among young men. The young people are very keen to coproduce this event.


Alternatively it would help pay for printing the programme or flyers, the cost of venue hire workshop or speakers expenses. This year we need £7,000- to put the festival on, Please look at  our crowdfunder page, or make a donation by cash or cheque to The Aroma Café East street Bridport.


Please donate, Please help us to help the people of this town and further afield, young and old.


Stay well and Look out for others.

Thank you