Shropshire Renaissance woman helping out of work artists

A Shropshire artist, musician and storyteller is hoping to inspire out of work artists and encourage them to stay motivated.

Artist, musician and fitness instructor Sally Tonge
Artist, musician and fitness instructor Sally Tonge

Sally Tonge is an artist herself but has also had jobs in fitness, storytelling and as a musician. She is now putting her skills to the test by combining her disciplines to help fellow artists.

Sally, who lives near the Stiperstones, teaches fitness online in her business Fit After Forty with Sal, and also does storytelling online.

Her reach has expanded not only to neighbouring counties, but to people in the rest of the UK and even the United States.

"I used to work face to face developing fitness sessions with people," she said. "I have had an established job as a storyteller for many years. I also deal with wellbeing throughout all aspects of my career.

"Then lockdown arrived and for nearly a year I have been doing all my work online."

Art cafes

Sally is helping out at Shropshire Council's art cafes, where fellow artists can meet up online and chat about their work, funding, and anything.

"This is the bridge between all my worlds," Sally said. "One moment I am playing guitar, the next I am teaching someone to do burpees online.

"The arts cafe sessions are for artists who are now unable to work or working through the pandemic, who maybe are struggling.

"I will be looking at wellbeing and fitness for the session. This has been an unprecedented time. What we thought was a 100 metre sprint, has turned into a half-marathon, and then a marathon.

"I will be talking about how to keep yourself going and why you should stay fit. There is a relationship between fitness in body and mind."

Sally's session is held on Tuesday, February 2. Visit for more information.

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