Rethink Your Mind: Bedford's David a winner

Written by Crucial PR on .



A TALENTED Bedford poet and artist’s winning words will get pride of place on an urban fusion hit to bang the drum for mental health.

David Holloway’s poem Lift your voice has been picked to be read on Rubie Colt’s new single for awareness raising project Rethink Your Mind and his striking artwork, produced with fellow artist Stephen Hoper, is featured in a hardback book. 

2013 Davids artwork RTYM GMH-133

The 34 year-old’s words and art were chosen by a star-studded judging panel, including acclaimed poets Jean Binta Breeze, Lydia Towsey and Adam Horovitz and renowned artist Gary Hodges.

“I feel very lucky indeed. It’s the first competition I’ve ever entered, and the standard is really high,” says David, who is even more pleased to be part of a project championing mental health.

“Anything that helps tear up stigmatisng labels is great.”

As well as seeing his work enshrined as a spoken poem on the CD, David gets an iPad and will join five other winners at the May 1 presentation at the House of Lords, hosted by project supporter Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE.

His work will also feature on the website and in the book, aimed at providing a valuable mental health help guide that will link up support organisations with the people who need them most. 

Nationwide organisations, mental health groups and NHS Trusts, including the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, are given a free platform in the project, launched by Midlands-based community interest company SISO (Safe Inside, Safe Outside) and Citizens’ Eye.

Rethink Your Mind is the brainchild of SISO Development Worker and Refuge lead singer Peter Hirst, whose band will also release a CD featuring winning words and artwork. Peter hopes the project will get people talking positively about mental health.

David, a freelance poet and artist who lives in Bedford with his financee Anna is all for that. “People are wonderful deep down, but they sometimes make snap judgements and the more we can educate people and get them talking about mental health, the better,” he says.

“Rethink Your Mind is all about celebrating creativity, shattering the stigmas and reaching the thousands of people who may feel like they’re suffering alone,” adds Peter, who has Bipolar.

“It’s such an exciting project to be part of and I can’t wait to hear David’s poem brought to life on the CD,” says Rubie.

The hardback book, which includes 20 pages of SISO recovery material and a foreword by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, will be made available to all supporting NHS Trusts.

The work of another creative Bedfordshire person is featured on the website and in the book. Elizabeth Aldous, from Luton, had a poem and artwork selected.  

Refuge’s CD and urban fusion artist Rubie Colt’s single - both of which feature winning artwork and lyrics - will be released on July 1.


1. For more information, please email">

2. We can provide David’s poem Lift your voice in full, if you would like to publish or broadcast it.

3. The six winners are:  Andy Gardiner , Tiverton, Devon (Rubie Colt CD cover artwork); David Holloway Bedford (B side Rubie Colt CD Poem and artwork in book);  Saiqa Parveen, Halifax (B side Refuge CD Poem); Stephanie Rose, Bo‘ness, West Lothian, Scotland (A side Refuge CD Lyrics); Lucy Whitehouse, Worcs (Refuge CD cover artwork); Ella Zellaby, Rochester, Kent  (A side Rubie Colt CD Lyrics).

4. There are 40 other poems and artworks selected for the hardback book. A full list can be found on the website

5. The full list of judges is: Artist Gary Hodges: Poet and Performer Jean Binta Breeze; Photographer and Printmaker Jenny Escritt; Steven McLoughlin artist, Keith Cooper Photographer  Poet and Performer Lydia Towsey; Poet and Performer Adam Horovitz; Artist Sally Waterman.

6. SISO empowers mental health service users to become valued, active members of their communities and works to reduce stigma associated with mental health. SISO promotes self-management, hope and optimism. For more information please log onto

7. For more information about Citizens’ Eye, please log onto