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> > > CoolTan Arts shortlisted for Guardian Charity Awards from 1300 entrants
photo of a group of celebrants outside Cooltan Arts offices

Cooltan Arts celebrate news of their nomination to the Guardian Charity Awards

The Guardian released its 2013 shortlist for this years Charity Awards and from 1300 original entrants, CoolTan Arts have made the final stage alongside thirty other charities.

With its tagline, “Small charities, big impact”, The Guardian Charity Awards aims to recognize small to medium-sized social welfare charities that “delivers a clear benefit to people – adults or children – who are disadvantaged by poverty or disability or are marginalised in some other way.” Providing smaller charities with recognition, the Guardian Charity Awards in association with Zurich, give the winning organisations a much-needed boost.  The kudos of winning the award provides charities with a higher profile and a better ability to apply for funding, plus a share of the £25,000 prize money. The final five winning charities will be announced in an event on Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in London.

CoolTan Arts is a disability-run, arts in mental health organisation, which operates in East Walworth – the most deprived ward in Southwark, London (with the highest recorded incidences of mental illness in Western Europe). The charity exists to inspire wellbeing and creative participation for a diverse range of people suffering with mental distress, through the creation of high quality art and self advocacy training. They help to destigmatise mental health by enabling disabled people to engage with the wider public, which reduces the feeling of isolation and develops life skills of those with complex needs.

Michelle Baharier, CEO of CoolTan Arts said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted, we feel like we’re keeping everything crossed! We’re one of the best mental health charities within the UK: reaching out to 1,700+ people face to face in just the last year. Our programmes enable people to build autonomy, emotional resilience, and gain the confidence to enter new environments. CoolTan Arts is not only led by people with disabilities, we are compassionate and passionate about reducing stigma for people with mental distress and preventing crisis and suicide. We strive to overcome adversity and isolation and build a stronger community with opportunity and hope.”

CoolTan are carrying on this philosophy this autumn in their sponsored walk on the 12th of October, celebrating World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme,‘Stayin’ Alive’, explores the idea of hope through talks, discussion performance and art. We encourage everyone to join us on the day to help raise funds to continue supporting people with mental distress.

More information can be found at

Further information about the Guardian Charity Awards shortlist can be found by clicking on this link