Drumming Up Support for Scotland’s First ‘Hope Hub’

A Dundee charity is drumming up support for Scotland’s first ‘Hope Hub’, to be launched on World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10 October 2019).

Front Lounge is holding a free, celebratory event in the city’s Blend Coffee Lounge, marking the culmination of a six-week mental health project.

The charity is now actively fundraising to kickstart Hope Hubs across the country, as well as a Hope Forum which will bring together a group of young people to help shape and inform future policy on mental health services throughout Tayside.

Leigh Addis and Michael Elliott from Foolish Optimism, discussing Thursday’s World Mental Health Day celebrations in Blend Coffee Lounge, Dundee.


‘Foolish Optimism: Hope in Action’ saw the creation and launch of a suite of six short films featuring young people throughout Scotland, with one released each Monday on the run-up to World Mental Health Day. The films aimed to spark discussion around mental health and suggest practical help for those struggling, from a group of men who support each other during airsoft games to two friends discussing ‘Things to Live For’.

The final film, released today, is ‘What is Foolish Optimism?’ which can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/frontlounge/whatisfoolishoptimism.  The film explores what Foolish Optimism means to some of the people who have driven it forward to date.

On Thursday 10 October 2019, Scotland’s first ‘Hope Hub’ will take place in Blend Coffee Lounge, Dundee, with chat, art, live music and screenings of the films themselves. Meanwhile, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design student Jacqueline Goodall will use her art project ‘Bottled Up’ to encourage people to write down their worries and negative thoughts and release them into a jar.  The event will also bring people together from various groups in the region including Art Angel, Haven Dundee, Viper Strike Airsoft, Reach Across and Feeling Strong, with music from Drumdee, Tragical History Tour, Rebecca Kidd, Polaroid exhibition ‘Things to Hope For’ by Erin Schepers and live art project ‘Leaves of Hope’ by Leigh Addis.

With all six films now launched and online, the charity has high hopes for the future.

Chika Inatimi, Project Leader commented, “The films have been fantastic, with each one completely different from the next. Every week, we engaged new audiences and helped spark different discussions between individuals but also different groups throughout the city. We’ve had people podcasting, blogging and just getting in touch about the films, they really have made a huge impact.

Front Lounge project leader Chika Inatimi

“Coffee shops bring people together so we thought we’d welcome everyone in, whatever their situation or story, and create what we hope will be the first of many Hope Hubs in Scotland. There are a number of people wanting to set up similar events in Edinburgh, the Highlands and elsewhere and Front Lounge is hoping to support these as they evolve in the months ahead, as well as creating a Hope Forum, a group of motivated young people who can forge a collective voice to fight for the changes they want to see in their local communities, wherever they might happen to be in Scotland. People are talking, and the future is looking bright!”

Derrick Thames, Director of Blend Coffee Lounge said, “We created Blend as a ‘living room’ space where people can relax and stay a while without feeling pressure to move on. People are looking for community spaces where they are accepted and honoured as a person, not just a customer. Blend is more than a name – it’s our aim as a business – to Bless, Listen, Eat, Nurture and Dare. Everyone needs people around them who care for them, listen to them, eat with them, nurture the good in them, and be the voice that dares them to just go for it! I know that seems quite ambitious for a business, but I also think that’s what is quietly attractive about us. So, when the opportunity came along for us to partner with Front Lounge, it was perfect. For us, as with them, mental health IS health, and we want to support those in our city who are dedicated to such work in any way we can. We are very excited about the event, but even more so for the development of a Hope Hub in Dundee and hopefully more across the country.”

The event will take place from 6-9pm on Thursday 10 October 2019.

For more information, and to watch the films, please visit https://www.foolishoptimism.org
For support in dealing with mental health issues please visit:


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