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About Us

Whiffle Pig C.I.C is a community interest non-profit company. It originated in Derbyshire, founded by Rachel Pratt and Annie Fielder in October 2012 as little arts and crafts stall, which they used to sell small projects. They worked together as a way to get over the bereavement when they both lost a parent. They would make little bespoke creations and then sell them on a rather bizarre stall; then donate the profit to charities they held dear.

As time went on they realised the comfort they received from the making process would be beneficial to other experiences any kind of loss. As Annie had worked in the art therapy sector voluntarily for over a decade at that point she wanted to support people creatively but using a different style – the key being to listen – with that the Whiffle Pig Method was born. Our motto “You can never under estimate the power of kindness, manners and laughter” is the core of all of our projects which now run over many hospital wards and within the community.

Rachel and Annie are fortunate enough to still have that comfort in one another when their lives take a more complicated turn but one awesome difference is that their minds are blown on a daily basis that their company is helping so many other people, on a scale they could not even contemplate when they were sat in their first yellow broom cupboard office. To think this was started because of such great sadness and has brought so much happiness to so many other people is just incredible.

Lydia Atkinson

Director of England

Lydia is a visual artist specialising in portraiture and oil painting. She began working with Whiffle Pig as a volunteer in 2016 whilst studying at the University of Derby, and has been running workshops as a lead artist since graduating in 2017 with a 1st class honours degree in Creative Expressive Therapies.

Throughout her time at University, Lydia received the Dean’s award for academic achievement, and was awarded the Foundation Derbyshire Commendation for her body of work exhibited in her final degree show - a series of layered oil paintings on clear acetate which explored her experiences of memory, growth and perceptions of time. Lydia has undertaken foundation level Makaton training, which she enjoys using throughout workshops, as well as basic first aid and safeguarding training.

As she embarks on her career in arts and health, Lydia thoroughly enjoys her role as an artist within Whiffle Pig, where she is able to make full use of her experience and education to date, as well as continue to learn and gain more experience everyday as she meets and works with a wide range people.

Laura Simmons

Supporting Artist

Laura joined us at Whiffle Pig in 2016 - a life long friend of Annie - she initially started out as her personal assistant to help Annie. As time went on it was clear Laura would be better in the workshops as a supporting artist as she had a natural ability to make the patients feel at home and get totally stuck in despite claiming to ‘not be an artist.’ Her kindness and rare ability to just listen.

February 2017 we won the People’s Projects partnering with Air Art and this was primarily down to Laura’s sheer hard work and determination to make sure we got the amount of votes needed - working tirelessly to promote the work we do.

Laura is currently studying a BA (HONS) in Counselling & Psychotherapy with the intention to be able to offer a counselling service to Whiffle Pig upon her graduation which will be incredible for our participants.