The Hartlepool memorabilia shop marking ten years of supporting people through tough times

A shop in the town centre is helping Hartlepool people through selling items which celebrate the town.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Monkey Business, in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, sells Hartlepool-themed mugs, T-shirts, postcards and prints, as well as Andy Capp books.

But the art store has a purpose – with its proceeds going towards helping improve mental health in the town.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The shop is part of charity Artrium, which supports people who struggle with mental health through art-led therapy, as well signposting them to mental health services and helping them get back into work.

Kathryn Hall with a piece of art at The Monkey Business shop./Photo: Frank ReidKathryn Hall with a piece of art at The Monkey Business shop./Photo: Frank Reid
Kathryn Hall with a piece of art at The Monkey Business shop./Photo: Frank Reid

It was founded in the early 2000s and opened its studio in Park Road in 2005, before branching out further with the opening of the Monkey Business store.

The shop – which also serves as gallery displaying Artrium members’ work – turned 10 in 2021, with potential celebrations to be planned later this year.

Project lead Katryn Hall has said more exciting Hartlepool-themed items will be on offer as the Tall Ships arrive in town in 2023.

She said: “It’s a growing collection.

A range of Hartlepool-themed art is on offer at the store./Photo: Frank ReidA range of Hartlepool-themed art is on offer at the store./Photo: Frank Reid
A range of Hartlepool-themed art is on offer at the store./Photo: Frank Reid
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We are trying to support Hartlepool people by selling Hartlepool memorabilia.

"It’s just celebrating the people of Hartlepool as much as we can."

Recently, the shop has also been bringing people together through music thanks to the donation of a piano just before Christmas last year.

Kathryn said: "We’ve seen a lot of people coming in since we’ve had it.

The shop is part of mental health charity Artrium./Photo: Frank ReidThe shop is part of mental health charity Artrium./Photo: Frank Reid
The shop is part of mental health charity Artrium./Photo: Frank Reid
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It’s a different kind of art through music, helping people improve their confidence, improve their mental health through expressing themselves in different ways.“

The Artrium charity is also continuing to expand with a new club for young people set to start in the early summer.

Kathryn said: "We mainly focus on the mental health of adults, but we are now looking into going into supporting younger people as well with the start of our under 18s club.”

She added: "It’s just making sure that we are helping people as much as we can to be the best they want to be.

The Grand Piano at the Monkey Business shop./Photo: Frank ReidThe Grand Piano at the Monkey Business shop./Photo: Frank Reid
The Grand Piano at the Monkey Business shop./Photo: Frank Reid
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The core ethos is people coming together, enjoying art, improving their techniques, giving each other support in doing different kinds of art, from painting to pottery and textiles.”

The shop is open from 9am till 12pm on Monday, Friday and Saturday and from 9am till 4pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

Read More
'With determination and grit' - how Hartlepool firm recovered from setbacks to c...

Support your Mail and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling Hartlepool’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Mail’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.

Related topics: