Last year we welcomed Venture Studio from Crisis as a programme partner. As part of this partnership, we invited four talented innovators and business owners from their Changing Lives Grant scheme to join the NHS CEP. Today we meet Laura Poppitt.
Name: Laura Poppitt – Venture Studio from Crisis Entrepreneur
Occupation: Artist and Mental Health Advocate
Expressing how you feel through an image and passing it onto other people is a powerful act
Laura is a Birmingham-based artist, who focuses on sharing images of nature through cards and other gifts. When her mum died, she used alcohol to escape her grief. After a few difficult years, she came out of a rehab program wanting to change direction. Around that time, she met some of the Crisis team. During recovery, Laura began cycling around the local countryside and noticing nature that she had previously taken for granted. Her art captures local landscapes and celebrates sobriety, whilst creating a platform to advocate for mental health.
After a year of engaging with Crisis courses, her coach suggested that she considered a career change, to become a professional illustrator. Laura started to sell her art online, through Etsy and social media. When the recipients of her cards started emailing to say how much the images meant to them, it was clear this business had potential. Laura’s sketches helped her apply for a Changing Lives grant, which provided funding for technology and art supplies.
Joining the NHS CEP
“Find your purpose – this will keep you going”
Laura is a mental health advocate who sees huge opportunities in helping people. NHS were incredible when she was in addiction recovery – so she jumped at chance to give back through the partnership. She has already started learning from entrepreneurs, and now wants to see where sharing her ideas can take her.
“The programme has had a big impact. I have really enjoyed learning so much from speakers and entrepreneurs, also how they have talked about mental health alongside the programme. It’s very inspiring indeed.
It was incredible to meet NHS staff and entrepreneurs at the programmes pit stops. Networking really helped with my idea and informing people about my art.”
Laura is looking forward to accessing support via the mentoring element of the programme, something which she knows really helps her to grow the business. She is also seeking support on the advertising and technology foundations – along with advice on how to word key things about the business.
Laura is currently working with her programme mentor to set up an art scheme in Birmingham with the aim of expanding it to other regions.
“My business has developed as I have now been teamed up with a mentor and progressing our idea which is really something I have always wanted to be involved with.”
More details on Laura art can be found on the website
TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE THROUGH INNOVATION