Mental health project to create powerful mural for Hartlepool Waterfront Festival

A men’s mental health project is working with a celebrated artist to produce a powerful mural in time for a summer festival.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 2:02 pm

The Young Men’s Better Mental Health Group is a weekly social inclusion project for men aged 18-35 and aims to lower the impact of social isolation on men’s mental health in Hartlepool.

Based at Hartlepool’s Community Hub Central, the group has been working alongside Hartlepool Waterfront Festival associate artist Lizzie Lovejoy to explore concepts around isolation, inclusion and resilience in words.

The group then had an artist-led session with Lewis Hobson, of Durham Spray Paints, to bring the selection of words, poems and mantras to life by turning them into a visual arts piece that can be displayed on a large scale.

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Artist Lewis Hobson pictured earlier this year while painting an RNLI mural on the side of the Ship Inn, Middlegate, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Durham-born community artist Lewis specialises in large scale mural artworks and his colourful murals can be spotted across the town including at the Pot House, on the Headland, and in Dyke House.

Lewis will lead the group in the coming weeks in a collaborative painting session by using a section of the upcoming Hartlepool Waterfront Festival site as the canvas for the piece.

The finished piece will be exhibited to the thousands of visitors who attend the festival, which is organised by Hartlepool Borough Council and takes place on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10, from noon-6pm on the town’s Waterfront.

It will remain until the forthcoming construction of the multi-million pound leisure facility Highlight on the site.

Hartlepool Waterfront Festival associate artist Lizzie Lovejoy

Aaron Bowman, Hartlepool Borough Council’s events manager, said: “When we first met the group in March, we had an idea to create a piece of work that was large-scale, visual and temporary as the group was nearing the end of their project.

“Now, more than ever, is the time that those experiencing problems should reach out to those around them. Many of us have lost friends and family members to suicide, so we’re keen to ensure that men are encouraged to talk to others about their problems.”

To showcase the importance of the project and the sheer scale of the piece, the artwork will be captured by video and drone footage so that people can continue to view it online after the festival has ended.

For more information about July’s festival, visit

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