(Last Updated On: June 20, 2018)


​Working with Healthwatch Torbay and writing a regular column  in the Torbay Times means coming across all sorts of events and activities run by community groups and others across busy Torbay and South Devon.

Recently I heard about the intriguingly named Squircle Arts, a community interest company who, in their own words, ‘love the arts and culture and want to share it with you!’ They provide pop up arts and cultural workshops for all ages in a variety of locations, including museums, historic sites, community and children’s centres, schools, residential care homes, libraries, at festivals, in woodlands and on beaches.

Their workshops, they tell us, ‘link to our cultural history and natural environment, and encourage the use of natural or recycled materials.’

They’ll be popping up over the summer months at Lupton House, near Brixham, where they’re building a community cabin and holding workshops in the woodlands. You can join them at Torre Abbey and Torquay Museum, too, for family days and ‘print nights’, and find them in schools and at community festivals and events. They’re also turning the gallery at Hannah’s Seale in Hayne into a giant colouring book, an  interactive exhibition called  ‘Doodle at Hannah’s’, opening on 1st July and running through until September. On top of that, Squircle Arts run art parties both for both children and adults.

Joni Dan, co-director of Squircle Arts, adds: ‘We had a fantastic week for the Geopark festival, with children and  their grown ups exploring and learning about our amazing local geology and  history through the arts, handling museum collections and  having tons of fun. Our ambition is to pop up in as many places as possible and to do that we’d like to have a set of wheels – maybe a bus, as that would mean we could pop up at festivals, outside cafes, have people on the bus, put out gazebos and do our activities and workshops outside too!’

You can check out their Facebook, twitter, Instagram pages (@squirclearts) and  website for upcoming events and workshops. If you happen to have a spare bus lying around the Squircle Arts would love to give it a new lease of life! You can contact them and find out much more by emailing  hello@squirclearts.co.uk .

Definitely worth exploring, especially if, like me, you believe that an active arts scene – I wrote the other day about the South Devon Players – is very good for our health!

Bob Jope  Healthwatch Torbay


Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!