MaDCaff, the exciting new café-based event which showcases the talents of musicians and dancers who are affected by mental illness, held their first event at the Students’ Union Aberystwyth last Friday.

Over fifty people came out to the café to enjoy an eclectic selection of musical acts, dance, chatting with people, and of course, eating cake.

These stigma-busting events aim to break down the barriers faced by people who have experienced mental ill health. By showcasing the talents of those who live with mental illness, the organizers intend to change people’s thinking around mental health.

Miranda Betts, co-founder of MaDCaff said ‘We want to get people talking about mental health, and these relaxed, café-style events are a perfect way of bringing people together to do that.’

 The line-up of local talent included Elsa Davis, violinist and Ceri Jones, Harpist, Cor Gobaith, Mike Farah, Joy Harris, Dai Sharkey and the Crazy Beaches. There was also some movement and art by Ruth Hogg.

MaDCaff is funded by Time to Change Wales, the first national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. Programme Manager Ant Metcalfe said:
 
“The first MaDCaff event has been a huge success! It’s great to see people using music, dance and creativity to start conversations about mental health. After all, you don’t have to be an expert to be a good friend – just asking someone how they’re feeling can make a real difference. MaDCaff is a really fun way of starting those conversations and getting people together, but it hopefully also gives people the confidence to talk about mental health in their day to day lives. If you missed the first one, make sure you get to the next event!”

The next MaDCaff will take place at Small World Theatre, Cardigan on Saturday 12th April from 4.30-7pm. MaDcaff returns to Aberystwyth on Friday May 16th from 4.30-7pm, at the Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth. For further details contact by e-mail westmadcaff@gmail.com or go to madcaff.wordpress.com/.

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