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Our History



Reachout was formed, initially as a drama group challenging stigma and misconceptions of mental illness while providing a voice to those with experiences of mental ill-health. 


A recording of the first play created by Reachout members called 'D'You Mind?' was performed at Lornshill Academy. The original recording can still be watched today!



Reachout nominated for Community Adult Learners Award, becomes a registered charity and an organisational constitution is written.


Reachout Member Elaine Swift creates Mr White sculpture. Over the following 21 years, Mr White would attend many outreach events, representing Reachout at a multitude of locations around the country, appearing regularly in press articles. Since his creation Mr White has lived in four Reachout premises.

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First of local sculptor Peter Russell’s creative workshops with Reachout members. Members used reclaimed stone from Bellsdyke Psychiatric Hospital to create personal expressions on living with mental illness.

Poem “Bellsdyke Shuffle”, by Reachout member Colin Hunter selected for Artworks in Mental Health publication by Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion.

Click this button to listen to a digital version of The Bellsdyke Shuffle:


Over 60 people attend Reachout’s 10th Anniversary Open Day, where Sandie (founder) and Sir George Reid (MSP) broke down a wall of stigma, made up of blocks containing negative words, to unveil images of Reachout members.

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We were the winner of Engage Visual Arts Award for Members-led Creative Banner Project and Arts Forum Award in recognition of Reachout’s Achievement in the Arts in Clackmannanshire!




‘Why Don’t You Listen to Me?’ Creative Booklet was produced as part of an ongoing partnership with Klacksun and working with sessional artists Emma Bowen and Tom Murray. The booklet was produced as a result of creative writing workshops to compliment the multimedia educational DVD.

DVD made in collaboration with Klacksun was screened.

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Reachout members visit New Zealand and present to Community Psychology & Mental Health Conference at Bay of Plenty with 200 delegates in attendance.

Later in the year more Reachout members attend a Community Psychology Conference in Exeter to share their experiences of our project with 150 delegates.


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Reachout members exhibit their artwork in the Scottish Parliament. The exhibition called Talking Heads was the first art exhibition to be held at the new Holyrood Parliament building. Some might call us "Holyrood Stars" 🌟😉

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MGB 4 Gallery & Bistro


We established a social enterprise trading arm 'Art’n’Mind – The Makers Gallery & Bistro' in 2011, working with 120 local, national and international artists and makers.


The Makers Gallery & Bistro gained a Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor, was runner up at Learn Direct Inspiration Business Awards, runner up at Clacks Hospitality and Business Award AND was nominated for Best Informal Eating Experience in Visit Scotland's Thistle Awards .



In 2018 we were announced as finalist in Scotland’s Regeneration Forum Creative Regeneration Awards.


We also relocated to our current bright studio space in Lime Tree House to focus on delivery of quality arts experiences for the community.



Throughout 2022 we widened the impact of our service with significant increases in our Outreach work. The flexible nature of our work has allowed us to work with a wide variety of local people, from pre school aged children to older adults.



After The Makers Gallery & Bistro project came to an end, the Big Lottery grant for Creative Communities project allowed the development of new Reachout programmes INSPIRE, MAKE and CHANGE - utilising creative experiences to improve wellbeing.

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2020 was a difficult year globally and many are still feeling the effects of the pandemic. Not only did Reachout prove to be Covid resilient, our service continues to help those still affected by the pandemic integrate back into the community.

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2023 marks our 30th anniversary and while we are using this as an opportunity to reflect and celebrate everything our members, and the organisation has achieved, we are equally excited about the future!

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