Hartlepool charity makes a big difference on mental health through artwork

Impressed civic dignitaries were blown away by the success of a Hartlepool charity which helps to improve mental health through art.

Monday, 29th January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 29th January 2018, 7:55 am
Members of HASL enjoy their artwork.

The amazing work carried out by Hartlepool Art Studio, which is otherwise known as the Artrium, came under the scrutiny of the High Sheriff of Durham Caroline Peacock.

She and her husband Jonathon paid a visit when they were joined by Hartlepool Mayor, Coun Paul Beck, for a tour of the Park Road-based project.

Colin Thompson, left, with Jonathon Peacock, second left, Caroline Peacock, High Sheriff of Durham; and the Mayor of Hartlepool Coun Paul Beck.

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They got to meet the members of the group whose aim is to break down the stigma and barriers associated with mental health.

Project manager Colin Thompson said HASL had helped 40 ex-members and volunteers back into work by building their confidences and skills as well as helping them to get qualifications in literacy and numeracy.

He said the charity survives without any funding from local government and has been purely self-funded since 2011. “We save the NHS thousands of pounds a year” said Mr Thompson.

Coun Beck also had one-to-one conversations with members and was shown pieces of artwork.

Maria from Metropolis by Terry Alexander.

The project’s well-being practitioner, Kathryn Hall said: “We felt proud to have such praise as it’s the members that have worked so hard to improve their own personal direction.”

Artrium is a mental health charity that specialises in the rehabilitation of people that experience mental, physical and or a learning difficulty.

Member Sarah Smith said: “It was good to meet the Mayor and to speak to the High Sheriff. She was very approachable and showed interest in all our work”.

The charity is always looking out for volunteers who have an artistic talent, and can mentor members or have retail skills.

Harlequin by Terry Alexander.

The group was founded in 2000 and has been based in Park Road since 2005.

The project is no stranger to success and won the Community section of the Hartlepool Business Awards in 2014 - and then repeated the triumph a year later.

Anyone who feels they could be part of the award winning team, should contact the charity by emailing [email protected] or calling in to the studio at 120A Park Road, Hartlepool.

Abstract by Eileen Johnson.
A pyrography (burnt on wood) piece by Richard Slack.
Colin Thompson, left, with Jonathon Peacock, second left, Caroline Peacock, High Sheriff of Durham; and the Mayor of Hartlepool Coun Paul Beck.
Maria from Metropolis by Terry Alexander.
Harlequin by Terry Alexander.
Abstract by Eileen Johnson.
A pyrography (burnt on wood) piece by Richard Slack.