Let charity art club put you in the picture

Stephanie McGovern (left) and Joy Yates (editor of the Hartlepool Mail) present Community Award to (left to right) Mark Dougherty, Kathryn Hall and Colin Thompson from  Hartlepool Art Studio Ltd. Picture by FRANK REID
Stephanie McGovern (left) and Joy Yates (editor of the Hartlepool Mail) present Community Award to (left to right) Mark Dougherty, Kathryn Hall and Colin Thompson from Hartlepool Art Studio Ltd. Picture by FRANK REID

AN award-winning organisation is opening its doors to even more people this year.

Hartlepool Art Studio Ltd (HASL) wants to hear from anyone in the town who feels art could be the way to help ease their stresses.

But people who would benefit from a chance to relax are not the only ones with a link-up to the charity, based in Park Road.

HASL project manager Colin Thompson said the scheme was so much in demand, it was about to host a visit from other similar schemes elsewhere in the North-East.

It comes after HASL won the community section in last year’s Hartlepool Business Awards in May.

Mr Thompson said: “There are lot of other operations similar to ours in other parts of the North-East. Because of our work, they are coming to us to look at best practice.”

HASL is a non-profit charity and has a project named The Artrium.

It focuses on providing social care services for people with learning disabilities, mental health and other needs. It grew from an idea created by people attending a social services drop-in centre that catered for people experiencing problems with their mental health.

It encouraged people to overcome their problems by using art as means of relaxation and enjoyment.

Now, the project runs numerous projects. It holds an art club for children at its Park Road base each Saturday from 10.30am to 1pm, costing £5. It is available for youngsters aged from five to 15.

It also holds regular outings to places of interest and is about to start a scheme where members make tie-dye clothes.

Colin added: “We are also looking for volunteers, especially if people have some art in them or if they are computer literate and would be good at repairing PCs.”

HASL also runs a shop in the town centre and officials would like to hear from people willing to work 
there.

And Mr Thompson added: “We are always looking for people to become members. There is no need to be shy. There is plenty of support here for anyone that wants to come along. We are here to help them ease their stresses and anxieties.”

To find out more about volunteering, contact the charity on (01429) 867775.