At the end of 2014, a tragedy struck the Mackay family. Johnny Mackay, who suffered from mental health problems, sadly took his life at the age of 29. In his memory, to help others who are struggling with mental health problems, Johnny’s family founded Johnny’s Happy Place. Based on Rockingham Road in Kettering, in the old Keystone building, it’s a centre where adults and children who suffer from mental health problems can get together. They can grab a bite to eat in the centre’s fantastic cafe, where the prices are very low. They can socialise and chat with each other, so that they know they’re not alone. And, if they’re feeling creative, they can engage in some art projects. That’s the ethos behind Johnny’s Happy Place: ‘Inspiring well-being through creativity and community.’
Community Cafe: Metro Tiles Donated
It was an enormous project, to get the centre fighting fit, as the building was in poor condition, and there was dry rot in the basement below the cafe, which had to be addressed; pushing the finish date back by weeks. When we found out about the project, we were keen to help out. As we’ve shown in the past by donating tiles to Milport Community Pool and numerous DIY SOS projects, we are always more than willing to lend a hand to community projects. We donated 20 Sqm of stylish White Retro Metro Tiles to cover the vast expanse of wall behind the cafe counter and down the side of the room.
With their bevelled edges, they add definition to any interior wall space. They provide a fantastic backdrop to the cafe, which the family and friends behind Johnny’s Happy Place have decorated perfectly; adding in colourful wooden furniture.
Hanging on the wall is JHP’s trademark; a bicycle. The Johnny’s Happy Place logo is a cartoon of a young fellow (Johnny) balancing a bicycle on his chin. Why? Because Johnny was a gifted chin-balancer, and was often found balancing bicycles, birdbaths and life rings on his chin.
Spare mosaic tiles
We love the artistic angle of Johnny’s Happy Place. As a creative company that designs and produces many of its own tiles, we know how great it feels to roll up your sleeves and produce something arty. It transports you; lets you forget about all your worries and problems; lets you escape. That’s why we believe JHP’s art projects will be incredibly therapeutic for its attendees. For that reason, we’re donating three boxes of spare mosaic tiles, so that they can be used to create decorative murals and artwork.
Norman the Caterpillar
Weeks before he died, Johnny emailed his father the finished copy of a story he had written named Norman the Caterpillar, which is about a bug that didn’t quite fit in with the rest; a gentle metaphor for the struggles and stigma of mental illness. Describing the story, Johnny’s sister described it as a project that was close to Johnny’s heart; he’d write it, leave it a while, and then go back and re-write parts; like a sculptor lovingly perfecting his work. Following his passing, the family decided to have it published, in memory of Johnny; with all profits going towards Johnny’s Happy Place.
It’s been reviewed by two incredibly successful writers…
Stephen Fry, actor, TV presenter and author, wrote: ‘Everyone who travels in a different direction will fall in love with this delightful book.’
Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, wrote: ‘A must read for anyone who has felt like they don’t belong… Everyone should read Norman.’
Buy your copy of Norman the Caterpillar on Amazon.
To make a donation to Johnny’s Happy Place, to help ensure it stays open and provides a safe sanctuary for people who suffer from mental health problems, click here.
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