Mind Apples

This weekly meet-up gave participants the opportunity to share their techniques to de-stress and learn how to take care of your emotional wellbeing. Initially Mind Apples ran as a physical event at a local cafe; but with the coronavirus lockdown, the event was quickly migrated to Zoom.

‘Mind Apples’ sessions were an integral part of the University of Leicester’s U.matter community engagement project and are delivered by Julian Harrison. 

Mind Apples is a simple tool for sharing how we individually deal with our own mental health, something that we all share (as opposed to mental illness which is a specific disability). It is a practical session that asks what we do to improve our mental health and how we react when we feel worried, anxious, upset or low in mood. 

Sometimes we also focus on specific mental health issues and current challenges. For example, we have spent a lot of time during the Covid pandemic looking at what we can do individually and collectively to cope and to feel some positivity during what is for us all a challenging period. 

Mind Apples sessions are for anyone and everyone and are an opportunity to learn and to educate. Sessions currently take place virtually on Zoom (every fortnight). Previously they were held monthly on a Thursday evening at Six Degrees Coffee House on London Road in Leicester.

  • Initially face-to-face monthly sessions at Six Degrees Coffee House. Attended by a range of people (from 7 to over 20 on occasions)
  • We held a Mind Apples session on Christmas Day 2020, focusing on issues of isolation and expectation (around 10 people attended)
  • Since lockdown, the sessions have been virtual via Zoom. (Regularly attended by between 7 and 16 people)
  • The sessions have always managed to attract both new faces and regular attendees

Bespoke Sessions

In addition to the regular weekly sessions open to all, Mind Apples also organised and delivered a series of bespoke sessions for specific groups, including:

    • De Montfort University Social Work Students (2 people)
    • Evington Park Health and Wellness Fair 21st September 2019 (15 people)
    • Grant Thornton (40 members of staff)
    • Leicester City Council Disabled Workers Group (7 people)
    • Wigston College Year 13 (5 people)
    • Wigston Academy Years 9 and 10 (involving around 100 pupils and four members of staff)
    • YES Project (around 10 young people)

Forthcoming Bespoke sessions:

    • Bushra Ali Group
    • Fibromyalgia Group Leicestershire Recovery College
    • Oadby and Wigston Community Engagement Forum
    • Rainbows Hospice
    • The Carers Centre

Mind Apples Facebook Group

As of 24/06/2021, the page has 303 members. Members are located not just in the Leicestershire area, but throughout the UK and even overseas. Content shared on the group’s page include:

    • Photo of the day each day
    • Daily entries of positive stories, information and guidance
    • Promotion of other mental wellbeing initiatives
    • Production of ‘worksheets’ detailing activities relating to positive mental health and uplifting words
    • Testimonials 

 Mental Health Events

  • 10/10/10 event with John Coster on World Mental Health Day 2020 (20 people)
  • Big Health Connect Event – stall on Mental Health issues (200 people)
  • ‘Call To Action’ event on mental health with John Coster on 12th July 2018 (30 people)
  • ‘Feel Good Café’ at St Peter’s Church, Highfields, Leicester on 20th April 2018 (20 people)
  • Festival of Life and Death (Suicide Awareness) (100 people)
  • Mental health and TV/Film event with John Coster as part of Documentary Media Month on 21st November 2017 (35 people)
  • Mental Health think tank event on 9th January 2021 (15 people)      
  • Open Mic Nights (40 people)
  • Time to Talk Day 2018
  • Mental Wellbeing Film Nights at the George Davies Centre

 Lived Experience Discussions

  • Men and Mental Health (30 people)
  • Mental Health and Families (10 people)
  • Mental Health and Work (10 people)
  • Mental Health in Schools (10 people)
  • Mental Health on Campus (25 people)
  • Mental Health Treatments (10 people)
  • PTSD (8 people)
  • Religion and Mental Health (45 people)
  • Sexual Harassment (20 people)
  • Stigma and Discrimination (10 people)


  • Alan Chapman (local campaigner on suicide awareness)
  • Beauchamp College, Oadby (JH gave talk to parents group and attended a Student Conference in March 2019)
  • Centre for Ethnic Health Research (formerly the Centre for BME Health), University of Leicester
  • Jamila’s Legacy (mental health support group)
  • John Coster (Documentary Media Centre)
  • Katja Milner (researcher on mental health at University of Nottingham)
  • Leicester Ageing Together
  • Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group – mental health consultation (June/July 2021)
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
  • Neil Chakraborti and Stevie-Jade Hardy, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester (JH took part in Hate Crime event on 1st May 2018)
  • Richmond Fellowship Life Links
  • Royal Biological Society
  • St Philip’s Centre, Leicester
  • YES Project


  • Production of ‘Sources of Help’ document/links

 Yellow Book

  • Production of dedicated book for the University of Leicester
  • Competition based on ‘I feel better when…’
  • Initial event on Saturday 2nd December 2017 at the George Davies Centre, University of Leicester
  • Presentation event at the Attenborough Arts Centre

Partner Involvement

Julian Harrison

T: 07767 297566
E: julian.harrison@ntlworld.com

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