Open Garden in Aid of Mental Health Research UK- Sunday 25th June and Sunday 2nd July 2017

John Ravilious was plagued by voices in his head for almost all of his adult life."Tiddles" used to interrupt conversations with cheerful interjections and the odd profanity. The "Bloodbeast"was more sinister, shouting at John and instructing him to do inappropriate and sociably unacceptable things. Most of the time John managed to live with his voices, but every so often he would go through a major and debilitating breakdown.

Around one in every hundred people suffer from the illness John had - Schizophrenia. It is one of the most debilitating and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man. Because it has been misunderstood for so long it has received relatively little attention and its victims have been undeservedly stigmatised.

Today there are a number of drug therapies available, and many people are able to lead productive and fulfilling lives. But there is still a long way to go. Research will be the key to discovering treatments that can really revolutionise the lives of people like John.

Sarah and Mike Dixon opened up their magical terraced garden in the hamlet of Hownam, to remember John, and to raise money for Mental Health Research UK. As well as admiring the garden, visitors were able to take tea on the lawn, purchase plants and homemade jams and chutneys. There was also original artwork for sale, including paintings, prints and cards by Sarah and Mike, handmade soaps by Julia Hall, garden sculptures by Sivi Davey and woodturned objects by Tom Purves.

Below is a collage selection of photographs from the event. Also Included is a picture of John on three chairs and write-ups of the event.


Mental Health Research UK would like to thank Sarah and Mike for organising the event and for raising £854 for research towards Schizophrenia.