Buxton mental health community arts project funded for three more years

A project enabling people with mental health difficulties to take part in art projects for the community has been granted over £170,000 - allowing it to keep going for another three years.

By Ben McVay
Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 10:57 am

Project eARTh - which has been running for ten years - holds weekly sessions led by experienced artists and supported by mental health workers and volunteers.

Group members - often socially-isolated by problems with anxiety and depression or recovery from physical disabilities such as a stroke - connect with each others by collaborating on big community projects.

Their artwork can be seen across the High Peak in GP surgeries, railway stations, parks, woodland trails, care homes, churches, church halls, art centres and more.

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Working on Willow sculpture of March Hare for collection of Alice in Wonderland sculptures for Primrose Court Sheltered Housing

The group recently produced 17 framed pictures for Thomas Fields Care Centre for elderly people with dementia.

Alison Bowry – creative programme manager at High Peak Community Arts who run the project - told how the National Lottery Community Fund money would allow the vital project to run for three more years.

However the fund was unlikely to provide anymore money from 2023 - as it has backed Project eARTh for the last decade.

As part of their bid for the funds they will also need to raise over £90,000 during the next three years.

Working on a mosaic for a trail on Furness Vale Community Field

Alison said: “We don’t want the project to stop because it makes a big difference to people’s lives.

“By doing big community projects people at Project eARTh can see the difference their work makes.

“Also, it’s easier for people to make friends while collaborating on big projects as they have to communicate while working together.”

However Alison admits the costs associated with big community projects mount up.

Current project producing metal work for a relief sculpture of Brookfield Pond in Whaley Bridge

To help them raise the £90,000 match funding for the next three years and to become self-sufficient thereafter Project eARTh are hiring a development worker.

The one-day-a-week fundraiser will have responsibility for identifying previously untapped funding bodies and charitable trusts to help keep them going beyond 2023.

More details are set to be released later this month - for more information about the role click HERE.