For our inaugural Festival of Belonging 2021, we will be holding events, workshops, meetups and talks throughout the week and you can find the details of each event listed below with further details and links to more information. All events are FREE to attend - we simply ask that you make a donation to the fantastic Bristol-based charity 'Marmalade Trust', the organisation that runs Loneliness Awareness Week, through this link.

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Have you attended one of our Festival of Belonging workshops? Please let us know what you thought clicking the button below and completing a short survey. You can complete a survey for each activity you have attended.

Click Here To Complete A Short Survey For The Event You Attended


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Laughter Yoga with Sylvia Tillman 10-10:45am

'mirth' means joy and laughter - let's turn that into action by laughing like nobody is watching – just for the pure joy of it and to boost your mood, health and resilience.

Join certified Laughter Yoga Leader Sylvia for this unique session, combining laughter with breathing and stretching exercises – this will most certainly give your Monday morning a boost.

Sylvia will facilitate the exercises. When we laugh, we release feel-good hormones that uplift our mood, help to combat stress and even relieve pain. Simply bring a playful willingness to join in and experience the benefits for yourself!


Researching your Family History with Ben Nicholls 2-3pm

In this workshop you will learn about researching your family history using simple and effective techniques. You will discover how to make the most of the knowledge already available to you in your own family with tips on how to verify this information using archive databases.

You will also have the opportunity to share your own research-based challenges and ask questions. This will be an interactive and sociable workshop which I hope you will find both informative and enjoyable.


DIY Poetry with Andy Smith 3-4pm

No matter what your aptitude with written english, anyone can have fun by stringing words together in some, way, shape or form. And maybe, in the process, you’ll learn something about yourself and how you relate to the world about you!

Andy will be presenting a humorous mix of poetry, encouragements and poetic exercises to engage participants, whatever their entry level.

The only qualification for engaging in this workshop is a commitment to be yourself and have a go! There’s no need for good spelling, punctuation and grammar if you can dare to believe that there’s a creative spark in every human being ... and that includes you!

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Computer Cafe: Struggling with Track and Trace QR Codes, and other tech questions 11:30am-12:15

QR codes are increasingly being used as a quick way to allow people to sign into venues, bars and restaurants, for track and trace, ordering food and drinks or for advertising events. If you have never seen one before, they can seem a bit confusing.

Come along to this 'Tech and Talk' Computer Cafe session where we will be chatting about QR codes, mastering your mobile phones, emails ,tablets or laptops.

The Tech and Talk team will have tech volunteers on-hand to happily answer and help you through any tech queries or questions you might have or maybe you don't need any technical support but you just want to have a bit of online chat - we would love to see you


Speaking Shakespeare- workshop with Malcolm Jones 2-3:30pm

“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue.” Hamlet’s advice to the players is clear but not so easy to do. This workshop will explore Shakespeare's verse in performance, looking at how we use the poetry and rhythms to convey character and meaning and looking at the clues Shakespeare gives us by using poetry and prose.

There is no acting experience needed for this workshop. Participation will be very much welcomed but not essential.

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'Our Cities – Cramming nature into small spaces' with Lilidh Matthews of Finding Roots 5-6pm

Each of us knows the importance of ensuring that we maintain the green spaces around us – but how do we create more? What can be done? How can we learn more? Nature is everywhere, from the tops of the trees to the buzzing bees, but it’s harder to notice when you are surrounded by buildings. Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and find your roots in nature – even in the city.

Lilidh Matthews is the founder of Finding Roots - a seasonal MicroGarden subscription for balconies and patios across London that is on a mission to increase the amount of new green and flowering space across the city. Prior to founding Finding Roots, Lilidh has worked from farm to fork in agriculture and horticulture, from a tomato farm in Middlesbrough to horticulture retail teams across the country. She is passionate about plants and greening our cities.


Book Club Coffee morning 11am-12pm

Join the Mirthy Book Club for a coffee and chat morning to discuss the June Book of the Month, 'The Authenticity Project' by Clare Pooley. We will keep off the spoilers- this is just a chance to talk about books and authors, recommend our favourites, and have a chat with other bookworms in the community.

All you need is an electronic device, a mug and a table!


Drawing Workshop with Caitlin from barely drawing 2-3pm

Caitlin Heslop founded Barely Drawing in 2016, a London-based drawing collective, gathering both online and in-person to cultivate creativity together. Her classes are suitable for all abilities, teaching techniques to equip individuals to continue a creative practice in their own time.

Theme: drawing from nature

Materials: paper, pencil, rubber, sharpener, and a plant or bunch of flowers.


'Bringing us together with stories' - a storytelling workshop with Sandy Leong 3-4pm

Stories entertain us but also give us a sense of belonging, they link us to others, they hold the memories in our lives and of others gone before us. They are the keepers of wisdom. We tell stories all the time, but if we want people to listen, we should tell them well. This workshop will explore our need for stories, what they do to our brains and how we can tell them well, to engage, entertain, inform, and pass on collective wisdom.


Community Pub Quiz 4-5:30pm

How many Mirthy talks have you watched over the past year? How many new facts have you learnt? Join the Mirthy team for an evening testing your general knowledge and bring along your drink of choice!


An Introduction to Play reading with Claire Cartwright from Friends with Shakespeare 1-3pm

This interactive workshop will be led by Claire Cartwright, actress and founder of Friends with Shakespeare. Claire will introduce A Midsummer Night’s Dream, discussing the context of the Elizabethan social and cultural landscape, sources and its place within Shakespeare’s work. After this introduction, Claire will invite some guests to read the first Act aloud. We will interrogate the characters, language, and ideas woven into the opening of this fabulous play. The idea is to really get under the skin of one of Shakespeare’s most popular and regularly performed comedies and hopefully inspire you to read on!
Please bring a copy of the play with you if you have one, or alternatively you can access the play online at this link.


An Introduction to Belly dancing with Shelley Lozano 3-3:45 pm

Belly dancing is a fun, exciting way to keep fit and is suitable for all ages and ability. It uses all the main muscle groups, increases strength and flexibility, and is a great physical and mental tonic. As well as keeping fit, belly dancing can also help improve confidence and fight depression. Learn various belly dance steps, arm movements, and a simple choreographed routine at your own pace in this introductory workshop.

Shelley has worked as a professional entertainer in cabaret for over 30 years, and has taught belly dance on cruise ships, fitness clubs, and for adult education.

Please wear loose, flexible clothing, soft shoes, or barefoot.

cooking workshop

Cooking workshop with Private Chef Kitty Logsdail 5pm - 6.30pm

Click here for more details on ingredients and equipment

We will be cooking:

Irish soda bread

A simple bread recipe that involves no special equipment and takes 5 minutes to prepare. Also included in this class will be a lesson in making your own buttermilk!

Please see below for list of ingredients:

450g plain white flour

1 level teaspoon of salt

1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

600ml whole milk

1 lemon, or 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

300ml plain yogurt


For an optional seedy bread:

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons caraway seeds


Bitter leaf radicchio, orange & ricotta salad

Serves 4 (to serve fewer people simply divide the dry ingredients)

This pretty, versatile salad is as delicious as it is colourful and perfectly marries the classic sweet/savoury combinations. It can be served on its own, with these little french cheese puffs or alongside braised lentils, roast chicken or fish. Adorn with some extra fresh herbs such as mint, dill or chives, and if you can’t get hold of certain ingredients you can easily replace them for whatever salad leaves you can find - the flavour will still be there, you might just add a little green flush to the salad.

Please see below for list of ingredients:

2 blood oranges (or regular oranges)

20ml lemon juice (approx juice of half a lemon)

Lemon and orange zest from half of each

60ml maple syrup or honey

½ small radicchio

5-6 radishes, sliced

1 small red endive (red chicory), leaves separated

1 tbsp olive oil

handful of small red salad leaves such as amaranth, baby chard, beetroot leaves

Small handful fresh oregano/marjoram leaves

Small handful of basil leaves

150g ricotta

20g pine nuts, toasted

100g pomegranate seeds (optional)

sea salt & black pepper


Equipment needed:

A fine grater or zester

A small sharp knife or, ideally a serrated fruit knife


This online class with Kitty will run between 60 and 90 minutes.


Singing Workshop 3-4pm

Led by Bronwen of Sun Jester, this is a singalong workshop, aimed to get you smiling. After a vocal warm up, we will feature some familiar songs to sing along to. Bronwen will teach simple harmonies for those who wish to learn them and, as you will be muted, no-one else will hear if you feel shy!

Now recognised as having numerous health benefits, singing can relieve stress, help improve lung function, enhance your mood and, as a shared experience, develop a sense of connection with others. Join us for a fun afternoon!