Indian food – April

With the weather as it is, we are hoping for an Indian summer rather than just a complete wash-out into the Autumn! To aid this, the group decided to return to a favourite activity and do some cookery

Main course

Main course

A small crisis with a fire alarm and a lot of smoke (unlike the proverb, there was smoke without fire on this occasion..!) didn’t put us off. With two types of chicken curry, homemade roti, pomegranate raita and rice it was really fantastic food.  We finished the meal off with some delicious mango eton mess to combine the English and Indian cultures.

After this group, we decided that it would be good to get some certification behind our cookery skills and as such are organising to complete food hygiene courses over the next few months as a useful addition to the CV.


An expert in self-defense and martial arts has spent two sessions with our group over the last two months, teaching us some of the basics in each of these disciplines.self-defense 2

Both of our sessions started with an intensive warm up which was necessary after coming in from the freezing cold. There were lots of knees clicking and shoulders grinding as we limbered up!

After this, we learned and honed a variety of stances, punches and kicks (all in the air, rather than making contact, obviously!). It was at this point that we all wished we had a bigger space – as people’s legs and arms tended to come precariously close to the person in front – I am sure that you can imagine how the roundhouse kicks went!

From this, we started to discuss self-defense – when to use it and why it was needed, and then were shown four or five different moves to disable and defend against an attacker.  These proved really useful although quite difficult to master at first.  As it was pointed out, though, it doesn’t matter if we aren’t perfect on them, just as long as we could use the principles of them if we needed to.

Everyone in the group enjoyed both sessions and we learned a lot.  We will be linking members who want to continue their interest in this into other self-defense and martial artself-defense_1_lgs classes in the area.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that I was quite surprised to wake up the next day with very sore arms from the air punches that we were throwing – so it seems it was good exercise too!


Ole Ole – Mexicana!

In this week’s session, we cooked up a MASSIVE Mexican feast. The group was quite big this week, which suited the food perfectly as there were so many elements to the meal.  Some people were in charge of chopping and cooking up the chicken and peppers for the fajita mix, others were responsible for making

Lots of food!

Lots of food!

fresh guacamole and salsa, and others again grating VERY generous amounts of cheese for the nachos.

Cooking away

Cooking away

We nibbled on the nachos and chatted as we cooked, and all sat down together to eat.  There were a variety of eating methods – some people (mostly the boys, curiously..!) we

re very well-mannered and ate with a knife and fork, whilst other people (myself included) opted for the ‘wrap up and shove into mouth’ approach, with varying degrees of success.  Whilst we ate we discussed the club, what activities we would like to see in the future, and how we would like it to progress.  Comedy nights and theme park visits proved popular – with

The fajita mix!

The fajita mix!

people having returned independently to the stand up comedy night that we had attended last month.

The finished masterpiece

The finished masterpiece

After the main course, we tucked in to a mouth-wateringly gooey, chocolatey brownie fresh from the oven.  Served with hot salted caramel sauce and ice cream it filled our stomachs to similar levels of the sticky toffee pudding from before Christmas, but everyone cleaned their plates.

There was a scurry to clean up as our time in the resource centre was quite short, but everyone agreed that we had had a great night.  People who weren’t cooks at home had tried something new, and the activity bonded new group members with those who had been attending for some months.  Its safe to say we will be having another cookery event soon (and some sporty activities surrounding it to compensate..!)  There are a lot of photos of the food in this post, we are essentially just gloating at how yummy it was.



Comedy night

Last Tuesday – on the 5th February – a group of us went into the centre of London and attended The Top Secret Comedy Club’s free comedy night, featuring the improvised comedy group ‘Shoot from the hip’.  Volunteers accompanied people to the group so that they did not have to make the tube journey alone if they did not want to.

The comedy was in a basement bar which felt like the secret that it was (and the drinks and snacks were incredibly cheap for Central London!)

5241716We were sitting a couple of rows back, right in front of the act, so were a bit nervous about either getting picked out or having to laugh at every joke they they made! However we didn’t need to feel this way – the comedians relied on shouted out ideas from all members of the audience, not just those in front of them, and were hilarious throughout so our laughter was genuine!

All of us had favourite parts of the show – I liked the sketch where the comedians had to create a song spontaneously about a situation given to them by the audience, and one of the other attendees particularly enjoyed ‘the three headed monster’ – where three comedians stood together and had to speak as one in answer to questions from the audience.  One thing that all of us had in common, however, was how funny we found the whole thing! Group members commented that it helped them to forget about other things in their lives, and also that they hadn’t laughed that much in ages!

We would all fully recommend the venue, and the act to others – I know that we are planning to return again as a group in the future, as well as attending independently on other evenings.  Our advice – go and see them now before they start charging you for the privilege!

Next week’s session is self- defense with Lucy – who will be teaching techniques as well as talking about personal safety. Hopefully we will still have some laughs in this session, although maybe not quite as many as at the comedy..!

Self-defense planned

Next session the lovely Lucy – an expert in self defence and martial arts – will be giving us the first in a few sessions of self defence. We are hoping to learn some new things and keep active for the new year. If people enjoy themselves we will link them in with another local self defence group to continue with the activities. We are all really looking forward to this session. If you are interested in joining the group please contact

Christmas dinner!

It seems but a distant memory now, but I thought that the group’s excellent effort at cooking Christmas dinner should get a mention on the blog:

On a cold, horribly rainy night before Christmas the group congregated at Wandsworth Mind Resource Centre to cook up a Christmas dinner and celebrate the festive season.  One of our members expertly prepped the chicken (we decided trying to cook a whole turkey would be excessive!) as the rest of us scoffed mince pies and prepared the veg, potatoes, stuffing and other assorted trimmings.

One of our volunteers cooked up a delicious sticky toffee pudding which was very, very moreish. We all enjoyed our meal, complete with crackers (and appalling cracker jokes!). It put everyone in the mood for the week ahead.



We also took the opportunity to decide that the group will be better placed on a Tuesday evening from now on.  This will allow several of our current members, and one of our volunteers, to continue attending (they had clashing activities on a Wednesday).  We are also now officially running twice monthly! More details of that to follow!

I hope that everyone had a lovely break over the last couple of weeks.

The name’s Bond. James Bond.

On Wednesday 7th November, we went to see the latest Bond film at the Clapham Picture House.  The group was our largest so far, with all 9 of us attending, and it was great for people to meet others that previously they hadn’t crossed paths with.

Clapham Picture House had really kindly given us some cheaper tickets to see the film which I know was very much appreciated by everyone. There was a mix up with dates and times and still the staff were incredibly helpful and somehow managed to juggle the packed cinema so we all had seats!

The film itself was great – most of our group ended up desperate for the loo as it was just far too gripping to leave the cinema!

Afterwards we headed for drinks and a planning session at next door’s Venn Street Records, a normally chilled out bar which was packed on a Wednesday night – the Orange Wednesday effect.  We discussed Christmas group sessions – we plan on having two sessions in December, as well as doing a group challenge to run 5k in the New Year. I’d better get training…!

Thanks again to Clapham Picture House for being so wonderfully accommodating, despite admin errors!  Its a great local cinema and we hope to go back again soon.


This is the website for Club SW18 – a group for young adults in Wandsworth and the surrounding area living with mental health problems.

If you are interested in joining the group or finding out more, please contact

We will be adding more information to this website as time goes on.