Tuesday 17 September 2019

Take Over 2019: A Madlove Take Over

An arts festival for mental health.

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Labelled as the suicide capital of England and Wales, St Helens needs some love, some Madlove…” 

Take Over is our annual festival that reimagines public spaces through art projects made with, for and about people in St Helens. This year we’ve invited artist and mental health activist the vacuum cleaner (aka James Leadbitter) to take over a vast empty shop and create a space for art, conversation and care. 

From 1-30 November, the vacuum cleaner is inviting us to be part of a Madlove’ Take Over – an arts festival for mental health that is transforming the old St Helens Argos store on Church Street into a space for tea, chats and moments to relax.  Together with the vacuum cleaner, we’re bringing 13 local, national and international artists and communities together to make exhibitions, films and new performances for this pop-up space – all aimed at supporting people’s mental health. It’s also a place where you can organise your own activities, if you want.

Join us for this autumn festival, made with and for the people of St Helens. Pop in for a brew, and have a look around. Or come to one of the many events in this programme – this is a free festival and everyone is welcome. Click on our list of events below to reserve tickets. 

The Madlove Take Over Space at the old Argos store, Unit 2, The Hardshaw Centre, Church Street, St Helens, WA10 1EB will be open 11am – 6pm, Tuesday – Saturday throughout November. 

#madlove #takeoversthelens


Madlove Take Over Events  

Jess Thom: Stand Up, Sit Down, Roll Over – Info

Cathy Cross: Den Building for Grown Ups – Info

Kitty O’Shea: Kitty’s Pick n’ Mix Performance Night – Info

the vacuum cleaner: How Can We Do This Better? – Info


You can read about access in the space here

You can find a map of the venue’s location here.

Safer Spaces 

You can find our Safer Spaces Policy here.

A Madlove Take Over is curated and produced by Heart of Glass, the vacuum cleaner and Mary Osborn (Artsadmin) with the support and collaboration of individuals, organisations and communities across St Helens. The Madlove environment is designed and produced by Sascha Gilmour and the vacuum cleaner’s team. 

Supported by  Arts Council England, Creative People and Places, The Hardshaw Shopping Centre, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The National Organising Committee for Indonesia as Market Focus Country at the 2019 London Book Fair, Bethlem Gallery, Mental Health and Justice, Wellcome Trust, British Council. 

Special thanks to Change Grow Live (CGL), Torus Foundation, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) St Helens, St Helens University of the Third Age (U3A), The Hardshaw Shopping Centre, Inglenook Farm, Reverend Janet Ashton and to all of the artists involved 
in this year’s festival. 


Samaritans: 116123 A safe place for you to talk anytime (24h, free).

Papyrus: 0800 068 41 41 Prevention of Young Suicide (free & confidential).

AMPARO: 0330 088 9255 Support for anyone affected by suspected or actual suicide.

Shout: text 85258 The UK’s first text support for anyone in crises, anywhere, anytime.


Suicide Prevention Available on Google Play and Apple App Store now.

Stay Alive App Packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in a crisis.

Calm Harm App Tasks, information & support to help you resist the urge to self-harm.