Essex Community Foundation

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Mental health art group given funding boost

26th May 2017

A support group which provides art classes for people who are experiencing mental health issues has received a funding boost of £1,876.

Braintree Rethink Carers Support Group has been providing help to local people who suffer with a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or personality disorders since 2008.  New members are welcomed regularly, but some have been attending for over 8 years.

The recent funding was awarded from Arthur J. Gallagher, insurance brokers based in Feering. The Arthur J. Gallagher Community Fund was established with Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in 2007.  Since then they have awarded nearly £14,000 in grants to support a wide range of local projects and voluntary organisations.

Trina Whittaker BEM, the art group Co-ordinator said, “There are a lot of holistic benefits associated with arts and crafts. We supply all the materials and provide our members with a warm and friendly environment where they can feel relaxed and safe and be with people who understand them.  They produce some amazing pieces of work and get a real boost when they see it displayed at the exhibitions we organise.

“For some of our members this class is the only time that they will meet other people during the week so the grant we have received from the Arthur J. Gallagher Community Fund is vital as it will help towards the cost of hiring the hall.”

Lyana Corbin is new to the art group after having a relapse in her mental health.  She said, “It’s really important that I have a weekly routine and attending this group once a week will help me to do that. I wouldn’t be creative like this at home and I find it calming to focus on drawing.

“Everyone is really friendly, but if you don’t want to talk you can just paint or draw so there isn’t any pressure.”

David Anderson, Regional Managing Director at Arthur J. Gallagher said, “We are passionate about supporting local people who work hard to improve their communities and address the needs they see around them”.
          
The Braintree Rethink Art Group meets every Tuesday, either from 1pm to 4pm or noon to 2pm. For more details call trinawh@btinternet.com.

For more information about applying for a grant, please call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018.