We want to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported Tonic during 2022.
Whilst there are too many to mention individually, please know that everyone’s unique contribution has made an impact and difference to our charity and beneficiaries.
2022 had a bitter-sweet start following the tragic death of our friend Craig the year before and the funds raised from his death donated to Tonic and used towards rent for a new Tonic HQ for a year. We found the perfect building in Prince Albert Rd in Southsea and spent January moving in and creating a beautiful creative space. Without Craig and the incredibly kind donations from his family and friends, we could never have moved on from our previous tiny shop and studio and for that we will be forever grateful. The new Tonic HQ gave us space to grow, develop and try new things. Over the year, it helped us define the future direction of Tonic.
In February, we went on tour with The Libertines and set up a Tonic information stand at every gig across the UK spreading the Tonic word. The team also provided mental health and suicide awareness / prevention training to The Albion Rooms team in Margate.
We finally opened our doors in March with our patron Barry Ashworth and ambassador Seanie T cutting the red ribbon in true Dub Pistols style whilst the Tonic Ska Choir sang in what would be their new home over the coming months.
Peter Doherty and Frédéric Lo also played two sold out intimate shows for us at Tonic HQ in March. I think everyone who was lucky enough to secure tickets felt they had attended a very special evening.
April became a particularly difficult period for Tonic with the realisation that rising costs and difficulty securing funds was not going to be easy and a sign of things to come. April was also the third birthday of the Tonic Ska Choir and we hosted a birthday celebration at Tonic HQ with the choir sounding more magnificent with each week they practised with choir leaders, Emz and James.
Thank you to Dom Elton at Mayfield Studios who invited us to an inspiring conference in May where we spoke about the Tonic Rider programme. Thanks also to the Tonic Skydivers who raised funds for us.
Thank you to everyone who supported our Yard Sales, our Retro & Record Fairs - particularly Andy and Tim who provided cool tunes with Velvet Candy every month.
We celebrated our 10th anniversary of Tonic as a not-for-profit organisation and two years of being a charity in June. The incredible artists at Mayfield Records also provided a Mayfield Takeover in June at Tonic HQ.
July saw our patron Barry lead his ‘Barry’s Flying Circus’ team for more acrobatics in the sky. We hosted a very inspirational day to remember Ellie with her wonderful family and friends who celebrated her life through her art and music. We also facilitated an inspirational music workshop at a secure unit for young adults and facilitated a suicide prevention workshop at a new substance use service.
August saw the return of Boomtown and Tonic providing support with our amazing team of volunteers across the festival. Tickets also went on sale for a very special Tonic fundraiser gig by The Libertines that sold out in record time. We also made the heartbreaking decision to stop our involvement with Tonic Ska Choir but through this painful decision came an empowering opportunity for Emz and James to independently lead the choir with a new identity. We attended Victorious Festival and We Out Here Festival with our wonderful team of volunteers.
In September we hosted The Libertines along with Jamie Webster, James Walsh, The Farm DJs and Calboa at Camp & Furnace in Liverpool. What. A. Gig. Thank you to the whole team for helping raise awareness of Tonic and funds that literally saved us.
It was the Tonic Ska Choir’s last performance as TSC at Mucky Weekender Festival in September, an incredible festival and so supportive of Tonic. We all wish Tonic Ska Choir members and facilitators the very best wishes as their new choir and CIC organisation - Southern Ska Collective. Please continue to support them!
September saw several tragic male deaths by suicide in Portsmouth which left us at Tonic feeling we needed to do more to support men in our community and across the country. This led to the team developing ideas for a new suicide prevention programme - Never Mind The Stigma. This programme will be launched in 2023.
Thank you to our Royal Parks team of runners who collectively raised so much for Tonic. On World Mental Health Day, we attended an inspiring music and mental health conference hosted by Help Musicians at Abbey Road Studios. We also attended Independent Venue Week’s 10th anniversary at LaFayette in London to hear about their incredible work and plans.
We were invited to an open mic night hosted by a young 16 year old musician in October who wanted to raise awareness of mental health following the death by suicide of a musician who was due to play the gig. It was a very moving night and one that has inspired us to create change with our Never Mind The Stigma programme. Thank you Harrison. The night also led to a Tonic talk with music students at Southdowns College. Thank you. This also led to Tonic Fest 3 at the Wedgewood Rooms - organised by Teddy and Nick to raise funds for the children whose fathers died by suicide and a soft launch of the Never Mind The Stigma programme.
Over the year we have provided invaluable peer support groups funded by Help Musicians to professional musicians and music industry professionals across the UK. Huge thanks to our incredible PSG lead Adam and Joe from HMUK who are so supportive. Thanks also to Rachel for facilitating Mental Health in the Music Industry groups and our in-house team for facilitating Mental Health First Aid, Suicide First Aid training alongside several workshops such as Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Emotional Resilience, Wellbeing Workshops and Music Performance Anxiety. Our team has worked incredibly hard this year to develop the Tonic Rider programme, outreach programme and resources. Thank you to everyone who has invited us to panels, for interviews, for the support, belief and encouragement.
We were lucky enough to receive grants from No Wrong Door and HIWCF in 2022 that enabled us to facilitate some inspiring Men’s Music Jams groups at our Tonic HQ. It was a wonderful end to the year to see their hard work pay off at their recording session at Mayfield Records where they recorded three tracks.
We end the year with the security of new funding to help us launch our new Never Mind The Stigma programme in 2023. These funds will enable us to provide a free weekly peer support group for men in Portsmouth. As well as the group providing emotional support, emotional resilience, compassion focused therapy, acceptance commitment therapy the men will also learn useful skills in completing safety plans, recognising triggers and keeping safe.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to every participant who has attended our courses, groups and training - you are all amazing.
Thank you to all our Tonic team, our incredible volunteers who help us beyond measure throughout the year - you are incredible.
Thank you to our trustees.
Thank you to all of our fundraisers and donors who do incredible things to help Tonic provide free support to every single one of our beneficiaries.
It’s been quite a year. Let’s bring on 2023 and all it has to offer!