Creatively supporting our communities to cope with loss and bereavement during the Coronavirus.

The global pandemic has had a huge impact on communities in Derby and Derbyshire, In Our Thoughts is a yearlong project supported by the mental health charity MIND. A partnership initiated by Artcore and Sahahra to support our communities to cope with Coronavirus.

Over the year we will be distributing ‘In Our Thoughts’ Memories packs to people who have experienced loss as a result of the pandemic and encouraging community members to contribute in creating a memorial. Creatively sharing their thoughts and memories of the loved ones they have lost, to form a part of a virtual memorial and culminate into a showcase in 2021.

There will be bi weekly surgeries and activities online and onsite at Charnwood St to encourage and support members with their mental health during these uncertain times.


If you have been bereaved during the Coronavirus pandemic and would like to be supported to make a creative memorial, sign up here

If you are a community organisation who would like to refer an individual/family to be supported to make a creative memorial,sign up here
(Please get consent from the individual/family before sharing their details with us), sign up here

If you would like to volunteering to support this project, sign up here

In Our Thoughts is a partnership project between Artcore and Sahahra to support our communities to cope with Coronavirus.

We are distributing In Our Thoughts Memory packs and encouraging community members to contribute in creating a memorial and creatively share their thoughts and memories of the loved ones they have lost as a result of the Pandemic, to form part of a virtual memorial and culminate in a showcase in 2021. There are activities online and onsite to encourage and support members with their mental health during these uncertain times.

Enabling people with experience of mental health problems; service users are involved in leading the work. People with mental health issues have been an integral part of the project. Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the people we are working with, and we have adapted our services in order to meet this changing need.

This project works with local people and people are involved in shaping activities in their neighbourhood and form closer social links.

The impact of COVID19 has been terrible. People have not been able to be with dying relatives in hospital. Funerals, which for communities are community events, have only been attended by a maximum of five people.

We have been offering online and onsite delivery where possible. We are also offering digital tablets to users who are in need and supporting them with online surgeries to access online resources.

If you have been bereaved during the Coronavirus pandemic and would like some support, or are a community organisation and would like to refer someone to be supported please go to the sign up area of this page.

Community Call Out – Memorial Sculpture

Artcore volunteers and artists are constructing a memorial sculpture in response to Covid-19 and we need your input to make this a piece that truly represents the Derby and Derbyshire community.

Please send us any photos, newspaper articles, poems, stories or memorials that symbolise your experiences during the last year.  Within our sculpture, we want to acknowledge and remember those who have kept us safe, those who may no longer be with us, those who have supported us and those who were born during the pandemic and everyone or everything else who has made an impact on you!

Send your responses to or submit it to us at the Artcore Shop on Albert Street or to our office at 3 Charnwood Street, Derby.

In Memoriam – Postcard Art Exhibition & Auction

“Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill.” – Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

Derby and Derbyshire based artists were invited to make postcard-sized artworks through an open-call.  Artists were invited to create by painting or drawing, pasting collages or taking photographs, writing poems or text – whatever it was that left them with a sense of closure, of emotional relief, of expressing what they have been unable to do so during the pandemic.

This work was added to an online exhibition which launched on 22nd February 2021 with the artworks being available to buy until 5th March through silent auction.  Proceeds from the sale were divided between the contributing artists and the In Our Thoughts project.

You can view the online exhibition of the In Memoriam postcards at

Postcard Competition

During this tough time, we want to make sure we all Stay Connected so why not let someone know that they are In Your Thoughts this November?
To enter the competition please download and print the postcard template. You can then let your creativity run wild by drawing, painting or doodling a picture! Make sure you send us a photo before posting to a friend and we will pick the winners!
You can send your image via messenger on social media or email with a photo in order to be in the running to win a prize by 29th November.
You can download the postcard template below:
Download Postcard Competition Template


Downloadable Activities

We also have some activities to help you get through this hard time.

Please click on the resources below to download the how to sheet for that activity.


Download How to Create a Feelings Collage to Remember a Loved One


Download How to Holding On / Letting Go Hands Activity


Download How to Write a Poem to Remember a Loved One


Download How to Create a Special Scrapbook to Remember a Loved One


Download How to Create a Memory Box to Remember a Loved One





Project Update 

Session at Derby Market Square

03/06/21 – This week we had a lovely session at our hut in Derby Market Square. It was a great opportunity to get the public involved and spread a word around about our project and good causes that it brings. We have cut out leaf shaped card and asked the community to write their thoughts about what the pandemic and lockdown meant for them. Children had also participated and drew on the leaves which was very lovely. One of our volunteers painted a box that the leaves were submitted in. Everyone had much fun creating their own take for the tree through painting, sculpting, and writing.

The tree is now almost finished with the resin base and the top of the tree being beautifully decorated with all the hard work and submissions. We will work on planning an exhibition to showcase the tree at some point during the summer.

Another Productive Memorial-Making at Albert St

27/5/21 – This week, we were back at our Artcore site on Albert Street with our band of dedicated volunteers and artists to continue developing our Memorial Tree and it is really starting to come together.  As this memorial was a collective idea, we are continuously adapting our creations to work with each others visions for the sculpture and responses to the pandemic.  I think that we are all incredibly proud of how we have worked together and what we have created!  – Catriona, Project Coordinator



Albert St Session

20/05/21 Today we had our session over at Albert St Artcore shop where we carried on with our tree sculpture. We have finished the tree bark and started on our branches. We engaged the public and customers to come in and contribute a little piece of their thoughts on a cut out leaves that are going to be attached to the branches. We also sent out a call out flyer to Derby College art students to encourage them into submitting work. Hopefully in the upcoming weeks we can have a start on putting it all together.

Progress On Memorial Sculpture 

13/05/21 Today’s session was much of a fun as last time. Participants had started putting together the sculpture, carrying on at our Artcore Charnwood St site. Starting from building the tree trunk and securing it with plaster clay, participants have started adding colour and bringing it to life. Artist Dawn Campion has been planning out the tree branches and sculpting them from thick wire so that the memories and creations can securely be attached. Participants have also added wire bending pieces to describe in words the connotations of the pandemic.

It is a fantastic progress on this project, we can’t wait to see the final outcome. Our next session is going to be planned in our shop at Albert St, outside the building to engage the public and hopefully gain more insight from people and encourage them to submit their thoughts or creations to be added into the tree.


Memorial Tree Sculpture

06/05/21 We had a great successful session at our Artcore site building, after a long time of the meetings being online it was great working and connecting with people in person. Of course we kept in mind the social distancing precautions as well as wearing masks and sanitising for safety of everyone.

The project that we are working on will be the outcome of an exhibition towards the end of June, where anyone can participate towards it and show their creativity, thoughts, memories etc to be shared with Derby and Derbyshire people. The idea behind it is a Memorial Sculpture of a tree in which participants can hang their creations on the branches. Today we had a lively session planning out the structure and themes of the sculpture. Artist Dawn Campion as well as project coordinator Catriona Kelly came in to the studio and helped in putting the idea together.


In Memoriam 

27/04/2021 As our first event, we have launched a call out ‘In Memoriam’ for artists based in Derby and Derbyshire to support the project by making postcard-sized artworks. Our aim through this is to support both our communities and artists. Our selected participants have received art packs which they used in various form of expression – a written poem, painting or drawing, collage or a photograph. Anything that expresses a sense of closure, of emotional relief, of expressing what has been unable to do so as yet.

These wonderful creations and contributions have been exhibited in an online show at Artcore Gallery. As well as launching a ‘Silent Auction’ with 50% of the proceeds going to the artist and 50% to support Artcore in continuing our ‘In Our Thoughts’ project, working with our communities to support them through the pandemic.

It has been a great success working with everyone collectively in supporting this project as well as our communities. Throughout April and May 2021 we have held bi-weekly meetings online through Zoom, to keep connected with each other, sharing our thoughts and ideas on how to proceed with this project. Our future ideas include having a Community Call Out for a single large piece for an exhibition, which the participants can contribute to creatively. Whether it be through artwork, poem or photography it would hugely influence the main outcome of our second Show. If you would like to contribute please do contact us through email or drop us a call.