Author: ellie

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As a disability-led organisation we are overjoyed to take part in today’s day of action by new emergency response campaign #WeShallNotBeRemoved

Today, from 12pm on our Twitter, we will be sharing the works of disabled artists alongside the hashtags #WeShallNotBeRemoved and #EndAbleism and targeting our posts at policy makers and influencers within the industry.

If you are a disabled artist or a disability-led organisation, and want to join the action right in the centre, just email and ask to get signed up to the Slack channel!

If you’re a disabled artist and would like your work to be shared, please just pop us a message and we’d be more than happy to share!

The results of the online accessibility survey are in, and we’d like to invite you to join our (beta) experiment over on Microsoft Teams!

Because it is possible to personalise and re-calibrate accessibility features in Teams so much, we have decided to trial the group using this software first. Having an ongoing, always-there, safe chatroom and noticeboard seems a good way to ease us all into regular online communication that suits you personally and exists on your own terms. There is no pressure to download it as it can be used in browser, in your own time.

Wait, what did I miss?

Nice Time is going to attempt to host a safe and regularly available space online, through which we can later organise workshops and video meet-ups, depending on how people feel about these.

We’re still accepting responses to the Online & Accessible Survey 2020, so if you haven’t already, please head over there and tell us your thoughts.

Using Microsoft Teams

You can access and use Teams both through your web browser and/or through the Teams app, which is available for Microsoft, iOs, Apple, Android and even Linux. You do not have to download the app – feel free to ignore the shiny attractive purple button it offers you, and click the calm, grey ‘use on web browser’ button to its right.

I recommend waiting until I’ve emailed you the link to the group before signing up if you haven’t already, because that way it takes you through step by step into our group. If you want to set up beforehand, you can access the website here:

We’ve set up a ‘Group’ or ‘Organisation’ in Teams, called Indoor Explorers which you can join by by filling in the contact form below.

Alternatively you can email with your email address, name, age and whether or not you’ve been involved with Pen Fight, Nice Time Arts or Still Ill OK before, either online or in person.

It’s tough at the moment for everyone, of course, and tougher for some than others. We thought that we’d put together a post of some recent disability x arts related resources, opportunities, news and whatnot for you to bookmark and check up on when you need a bit of inspiration or cheer. If you’ve come across something great, please get in touch and we’ll include it on our next update!

Creative Opportunities

The porcelain head of a doll stands out from a black background. The face is covered in tiny cracks and the top of the head is broken, revealing Victorian scrap paper and flowers inside. One of the doll’s eyes is ringed with pearls. It wears drop earrings and a choker decorated with a gold key. (c) Sasha Saben Callaghan 2019
[Click image for image description]
  • Not Going Back to Normal are looking for creative submissions to a disabled artists manifesto! The manifesto will take form as an exhibition and a book. This is a paid opportunity, and is based on the premise that “…we’re not going back to normal. The world is changing, so let’s remake it with our ideas. If we want an artistic revolution, this is our chance.”
    Follow the link to find out more:
  • Still Ill OK (Ellie’s other site – hello pals) is always welcoming guest posts, interviews, artwork relating to health and/or disability, views on current issues and more. Please get in touch to help revamp the site during the lockdown:

Get Creative: Make a zine!

Our Vicky’s Pen Fight probably the best place for buying other zine prompts and collections of zines to read and be inspired by! Drawn Poorly have a great ‘How to Make a Minizine’ resource on their site that is available in various accessible formats, and our fab Still Ill X Pen Fight prompt zine still for sale in our shop and on Etsy.

Zines can be about absolutely anything . You can even break your ‘fear of the blank page’ by setting yourself a challenge of (this is a funny one we did at Zine club once) ‘A Zine of 6 Pokemon each drawn in 60 seconds’. Good luck, and if you’d like some more prompts or inspo, feel free to pop us an email:

Theatre from Bed

  • HOME also have commissioned a series of artists to produce work from their homes, ranging from games to receiving short stories in the post, to theatre, music and more. They are offering tickets on a pay-what-you-feel basis, so you can watch some super current talent from your home for free!
  • The National Theatre is not only releasing some of its most popular plays on its YouTube channel throughout lockdown, but is also offering a series of insights into how theatre is made, rehearsal processes and lots of interesting bits and bobs.
  • BeAtHome Festival has a series of videos, performances, recipe cook-throughs and more from artists who were commissioned for the festival pre-lockdown.

Advice & Support

There are mental health resources available from the usual sources below, all of whom have put extra time and effort into producing advice and resources specifically relevant to the current lockdown.

Manchester City Council has a very plain but very practical mailing list for those of us on the government’s hypothetical ‘extremely vulnerable’ list, which I strongly recommend signing up to if you are within the Greater Manchester area:

Here at Nice Time, Ellie can offer professional advice and assistance in matters regarding benefits (PIP, Universal Credit, Carers Allowance, etc.) so if this is something you need, please get in touch:

Firstly, we hope that you and those close to you are as well as can be during this very difficult time. Disabled and chronically ill people are disproportionately affected by new viruses, and as the media has made us painfully aware, this is sadly no different with the current coronavirus.

Unsurprisingly, we have no live events scheduled yet for this year in alignment with government guidelines and for the sake of everyone’s physical health. Well, that’s the sad bit of news out of the way, so bring on the good news and let’s end this post on a high!

Online & Accessible

We are really keen to continue to offer some form of creative social support throughout this time, as this is a very difficult time during which socialising and creative distraction could not be more important.

So, we are currently organising an online Spoonie Artists hangout to take place later in April/early May, and are looking into other ways of keeping our community going online in a safe and accessible manner. This might include blog posts with suggested DIY arts & crafts activities, inputs from our Zine Club, video tutorials, a private discussion forum on our website or quite simply a wider range of accessible ways to hang out online/at a distance.

If there is anything in particular that sounds fabulous to you in the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch either via email: or via mobile: 07539371070 [text only].

What works best for you?

If you are able to, we would really appreciate it if you could fill in and share this short survey that we have put together.

It can be filled in directly below, where it is embedded into the page, or alternatively you can be emailed a link, a large-print Word document, or posted a printed copy with a prepaid return envelope. Just get in touch with us via one of the usual ways; or text 07539371070

Congratulations everyone!

As you may or may not be aware, Nice Time Arts was fortunate enough on Monday to get to the final round of One Manchester’s Community Soup Funding!

Vicky and I went along, I did a rushed and waffly pitch (every community group gets 4 minutes), and then members of the communities of Levvy, Hulme & Gorton are invited to vote, alongside the groups pitching. Four groups won three prizes, and each of the projects that pitched sounded amazing.

So while we didn’t win this time around, we understand that we did super well to get to this stage, especially being such a technically ‘new’ group, and want to say best of luck and congratulations to all the winners! (Especially Men’s Sheds, a project very close to my heart).

It was great to meet everyone, and find out ways we can work together in the future.


Nice Time x

Next week in our fully-booked journalling course, we’ll be doing marbling alongside some organisational and practical CBT-based strategies.

I was just getting the marbling inks ready, and was reminded of one of our first official sessions as Nice Time, during our August soft launch. There was such a wide range of ages making beautiful and unique patterns non-stop, for three hours!

Looks like we’ll need to replenish the stock before next week – who’s up for another marbling session in advance of the festive season? Winter can be a difficult time for many reasons, in particular if you have a disability/long term health condition that is often made worse by the cold weather, being stuck indoors, and health services being a bit sporadic what with it being annual leave season.

Our November Zine Club is themed appropriately as ‘Winter Survival’, and we’re just looking to book in some more creative events and groups over the cold ‘festive’ period. I’m thinking marbling might be a good’un – what do you guys think?

What art medium or activity would you really like to try out?

Let us know in the comments, or get in touch via the social media options below!

T: @nicetimearts
I: @nicetimeart

Email us at or pop us a text on 07539371070

Thank you so much to everyone who has joined in and supported us during our soft summer launch over the last few weeks.

We had such a great time, and were so happy to see that so many of you did too!

We might be a bit quiet over the next few weeks as we recuperate, unpack, rebrand a little bit (Vicky will do this, not me you’ll be glad to know!), hopefully snap up some more funding, and then we will be back on it with a ton of fun workshops and activities planned; all of which will be – you guessed it – accessible – and – affordable!

Enjoy your Manchester Pride weekend, wherever it takes you, play safe and most importantly – as one young person put it – take up some space! It’s yours! Own it!

Hello friends,

As you might be aware we are signed up to

This means you (or even better, your office!) can shop at your usual favourite big retailers as you would do, but the EasyFundraising Chrome extension lets the massive uber company know to donate some of their money to us!

I’ve been super late on realising that this week was the double-donation week and that it ends on Monday!

Anyway, if any of you are partial to some online shopping over the weekend, please click the link below and think of us. Every penny makes a difference and contributes towards our accessible arts programme!

Lots of love




(Don’t shop at any of the logos that crop up that are super baddies (lookin atchoo amazon), obvs, but if you order regularly or even better you work somewhere that does big orders regularly, please sign up to this as the fat cats in the big corps will donate us money as u go about ur usual online business. Thank u  <3 )


We’re running the first Nice Time community event of many this Thursday, as Pen Fight joins forces with Still Ill OK to develop and create the disability and chronic illness movement’s first ever ZINE.

Please see the following link for information about the event:

We have already developed a unique Pen Fight X Still Ill OK mini-zine with prompts unique to the spoonie community.

We have funded this event entirely ourselves, and are super excited for this to be our first ever Nice Time project.

If you would like to contribute to our free programme of workshops, please donate via Just Giving.