An art exhibition featuring the work of Beacon Wellbeing Day Centre members, will open for two weeks at the Holywell Trust Building tomorrow, Thursday, September 25.
It features an eclectic and mix of engaging art including reduction prints, paintings, photography and ceramics and will be open until October 9 from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Beacon Wellbeing, part of Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health, is the Province’s largest mental health and learning disability charity and has been providing support for people in Londonderry at Clarendon Street for 23 years now.
Clarendon Street is open to members on Monday to Thursday from 9.30am to 5pm and also operates a drop in session on Sundays from 1pm to 5pm.
The centre facilitates a wide range of activities throughout the year and opportunities for outreach trips and activities as well as mindfulness sessions, music tuition, men’s outreach and various recreational activities.
More recently, the centre has expanded activities and now has an allotment at Ballougry Road with a volunteer instructor helping members engage in gardening and growing fruit and vegetables.
Arts and crafts has always been one of the most popular activities at the centre and centre manager, Alison Foley, is proactively engages members in exploring their inner creativity, to help them express themselves and promote pride and personal achievement.
An application was made to the Art Council of Northern Ireland’s Arts & Older People Programme meant the centre could deliver creative sessions supporting continued wellbeing and social inclusion for members aged 55 years and over. The project proved to be a catalyst for partnerships development with the wider community, including U3A Foyle and the Bogside and the Brandywell Health Forum’s Getting on Well group with pottery, glass fusion, reminiscence and art-based sessions.
Thanking the various partners, Alison Foley said: “The staff team at Clarendon Street have always known just how much talent and creativity our members possess. Our centre’s walls are adorned with so many beautiful pieces of art created by various members over the years, which makes it a very colourful and vibrant place to be.
“I have seen how beneficial it can be to a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing to be given and outlet to express themselves through a craft or art activity. However, as we are part of a charity, it is not always possible for our small staff team to give as much time as we would like to nurture the creative talents of our members.
“That is why this project has been such a boost for us,” she said.
For more about the range of services on offer for adults with mental health conditions at Clarendon Street, including the referral process, contact the centre team by telephone 02871 269677, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on at www.beaconwellbeing.org