Tonic at The Specials’ 2016 tour

Thank you so much from Tonic Music for Mental Health to everyone who came to visit, shared their stories, and offered their support for future events. The Southampton and Troxy crowds were amazing!

It was stunning to see so many people in the crowd and on the Fred Perry Subculture livestream wearing Tonic stickers — you looked beautiful! You also donated an incredible £717.51 — thank you all so much!

A huge thank-you to all of The Specials, including the band, the crew, Steve Blackwell, Mike Darling, Sam, Tour Bus Tim, and Stu on merch. Such an amazing, supportive, and welcoming team. A special thank-you to Terry Hall for setting this up, and to Michelle Golding for helping us spread the word.

Special thanks to all who visited the Tonic stand, including: Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter, Steve Cradock, Gary Powell, Jonathan and Tim on brass, beautiful Amy and Jess from Qstrings, Morgan Howell (supersize art) Matt Everitt (BBC 6 Music), General Roots, Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds), Matt Allwright (off the telly), Shaun Welsh (who entertained us with beer mat tricks), and lovely Sam with the most amazing beard, who offered us free use of his venue for Tonic events.

The Troxy staff were the friendliest we’ve ever known — they entertained us, looked after us, fed us, and were happy to be plastered in Tonic stickers.

The tour may be over, but work to raise awareness about mental health issues and challenge stigma goes on. We’re really looking forward to working with Specialized over the coming year, who have chosen to support Tonic in 2017.

Big love to you all.

You’re all so sweet, and you all rock

We’re feeling blessed by the amount of kindness and support people are showing Tonic. On Monday, we met a lovely music therapist at a market who cried when we told her about what we do. She sent Tonic a cheque for £100 today — such a beautiful thing to do.

Over the past week, we have been given a fridge and a coffee machine from Paul (AKA My Dog Sighs) for the Tonic HQ shop and studio. Paul Windsor from Southsea Gallery on Albert Road has generously given Tonic enough frames, posters, and prints to fill our shop, as well as a poster stands and storage.

We were given a bass guitar at Victorious, and met so many people who said they’d love to volunteer when we open. Huge thanks also go to Jed Nugget and Jack Whitehead, who are working hard in the basement right now to sort out the additional problems we’ve encountered.

Can’t thank you all enough.

Tonic needs your support to equip our new shop and studio space

Earlier this year, the wonderful Southsea Coffee Co. in Osborne Road raised an incredible £6,000 by shaving their beautiful heads, and through local artists donating amazing original pieces which were auctioned.

With the generosity of everyone who contributed, Tonic have been lucky enough to sign a lease and secure rent for the first year of our first shop and studio space at 119 Highland Road, Southsea.


Tonic HQ will be the new site for an eclectic array of music and art workshops, masterclasses and  music tuition to facilitate recovery and help provide positive energy to support anyone suffering from or affected by mental health.

The studio will also be home to two Tonic artists-in-residence. The shop will enable us to help make the project self-financing and will serve as a safe place for people to meet others, socialise, chill, gain confidence, listen to vinyl, read a book, have a coffee, and get creative. We will also have a small exhibition space for local artists wishing to exhibit work.

Tonic needs your support

We have been working hard all summer to complete work in the building and still have a way to go. We have been given some items of furniture but desperately need support to purchase equipment to deliver workshops and tuition free to our community.

As this is our first venture, we need a computer, printer, sewing machines, silk screening equipment, a small fridge, guitars, bass, keyboard, art supplies, a record player, speakers, etc.

We also need funds to pay fees for our facilitators.  The facilitators will be mostly local musicians and artists and people whom have attended workshops who find the confidence to facilitate their own workshops.

There will be lots of opportunities for people to develop their creativity in music and/or art, and Tonic will support individuals as much as possible.  

We also hope to offer opportunities to help organise Tonic gigs and events, publications, podcasts, outreach, and so much more.

We hope in time the Tonic shop will finance the projects but to help get us started we really do need your support.

If you can donate, any amount you can afford will help us. If you have a fundraising idea you would like to organise please do get in touch at

Huge thanks, and hope to see you in the shop and studio space when we open!

— Steph (Founder & Director, Tonic Music for Mental Health)