Spirit of the Rainbow Heron

Late Night Cafe

“Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed”
– Banksy

A café providing a quiet space to sit, read, play games, listen to music, talk, relax or take part in informal art activities, with volunteers and artists from different groups across Sheffield

More informationAll events

We gifted the café project to Sheffield MIND in Sept 2021 and the project continued until June 2023, managed by Lindsay Doyle-Price. Charly, our original Rainbow Heron Café coordinator, was able to continue to take an active part in the café activities as a volunteer.

Here is the final report from MIND and also the history of the original project.

Helle, who has been running the group, is now working for Sheffield MIND – which is brilliant news for us.  She is a trained art therapist and has been doing some fabulous work with the group including paint along with Bob Ross; smart phone animation workshops; and even lantern making which the group did in order to participate in the Sharrow Lantern Festival.

Since starting the group, there have been some developments in local service provision for young people – such as the Sheffield Support Hub and Roundabout Safe Space initiative. So there is much better provision now, than there was back when this initiative was started. Rainbow Heron was ahead of the curve and maybe someone somewhere was keeping an eye out and making note of the gaps in provision that Rainbow Heron was filling.

We are so grateful that Rainbow Heron chose to collaborate with us: staff have enjoyed working with young people, especially seeing them engage with different creative activities and gain in confidence and social skills.

As the original funding for the project is coming to an end the service will be ending, for the time being at least, whilst we look for additional / alternative funding

We are still keen to work with young people and our art therapists in particular are keen to develop creative therapies, as it is something that younger people respond well to.

We have already been working with established youth groups such as Chillypep and will be looking to work with others in the coming year. So, whilst it seems like the end of an era in one respect, the work we have done with Rainbow Heron has opened up opportunities for us to work with even more young people across the city.

For further Information please contact lindsay.doyle-price@sheffieldmind.co.uk

Project History

The Rainbow Heron Late Night Café launched on 23rd April 2017 and continued to happen on the last Sunday of every month until closed due to Covid in Spring 2020. It has been our flagship project. Please also read our Progress Report (summer 2018) and the Annual Report (spring 2019) which give more detail about the development of the project over the first two years and its involvement in Sheffield-wide events. Please check out our popular blog, which ran for 2 years and enjoy articles by our great former bloggers Chloe and Lizzy.

“The purpose of the Rainbow Heron Late Night Art Café is to promote wellbeing for young people through providing a regular safe space, with peer support and creative activities for relaxation, fun, self-expression, exploration, healing and sharing: a crisis prevention model for young people experiencing mental health problems. The ethos will be one of peer support and we intend that all who take part (guests, volunteers, artists and staff) will benefit from it. It will be mainly run by young volunteers, with a range of local artists and wellbeing professionals contributing one-off sessions. Activities are free of charge. Light and healthy refreshments will be available for free and guests will be invited to make a small contribution to costs if they are able. We also plan to have occasional collective cooking sessions. All guests and volunteers are encouraged to bring their ideas, interests and skills and be fully involved in the development of the project.”

The project concept  was developed through discussions with young people, consultations with other organisations and visits to similar projects elsewhere in the country (for example, The Dragon Café  in South London). It ran as a pilot project for one year and carried out an impact assessment, in order to share our experiences with other organisations in Sheffield. The first year of operation was financed by the Rainbow Heron Small Grants Fund, the Seedbed Christian Community Trust, Sheffield Soup crowdfunding along with individual donations and moral support from a range of local organisations.