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“I want to say thank you” – Andrew finds his passion for art

11 May 2017

This Mental Health Awareness Week, Andrew Peacock tells us how National Lottery funding has made a difference to his life.

“I first attended Pathways to Wellbeing three years ago, after a local charity persuaded me to join. They had to drag me there kicking and screaming but I’m so glad that they did.

I’ve been sleeping rough for the past 12 years and everything I own is hard-earned and cherished. A piece of paper or a pen to me is precious. I’d never done any kind of art before coming to this project, but I’ve really progressed and it’s a lot of fun.

Pathways to Wellbeing inspired me to create pieces of art using an app on my mobile phone which had previously been provided to me by a local charity. I found that I could draw on my phone and I’d sit in the woods for six hours a night creating art – I’ve now made more than 2,000 designs.

The workshops, including visits from amazing artists, have encouraged me to push boundaries and try different stuff. During one of the workshops I learned papercutting techniques from a specialist artist, then in my spare time I used Bath Central Library as a workspace. I held my own art show at the library after staff saw the work I was creating there. I displayed more than 50 pieces of my work and I hope to hold more of my own exhibitions in the future

I’ve also designed a Christmas card for Holburne Museum which was sold in their shop. I decided that all proceeds should go back into the project to help others like me and I’m currently working on designing a display of fans to be featured in the museum’s café.

I now volunteer for Pathways to Wellbeing, acting as a mentor to other participants. After two years of working with the project, I realised that people in the group needed more help than me, so I sit with them and show them my work to give them ideas.

The project has changed the way I am with other people and has shown me that I enjoy helping others. That’s what National Lottery funding can do and I want to say thank you. I’m still living in a tent but here I am smiling and giving something back to the community.

Holburne Museum’s Pathways to Wellbeing project supports people with mental health problems through creative workshops in Bath. The initiative, which was awarded £95,295 of National Lottery funding in May 2016, helps people cope with mental health problems by creating pieces of artwork, which are later exhibited in the museum during special events.”

In 2016/17, more than £217 million of National Lottery funding was distributed to mental health related projects across the UK.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re sharing stories about the positive impact National Lottery funding has on the lives of people with mental health problems. Visit our Facebook page to read about more inspiring stories: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

 

 

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