Artwork created by service users at Preston’s medium secure mental health unit as part of their recovery has been recognised by a national charity.
The Tree of Discovery along with other artwork created by service users at Guild Lodge was recently highly commended by UK art charity Koestler Trust. The charity specialises in an art awards scheme for offenders and secure mental health patients across the country and sees thousands of people submitting artwork every year. Artwork often forms part of the therapeutic activity to help service users explore and articulate their feelings and the Occupational Therapy service at Guild Lodge delivers regular sessions that can be attended on a drop in basis.
Lauren Rosewell, Art Technical Instructor at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“The Tree of Discovery is so special because each leaf tells a story of an individual’s journey through learning, experimenting, developing and having fun.
“If a person feels they lack artistic capabilities or their drawing is inadequate this can seriously impact on their confidence, self-esteem and ability to engage in other activities.
“It’s my job to make people understand through engaging in communal artwork that each person has a valued contribution to make and encourage participants to concentrate on the part they play. The most rewarding part of my role is seeing a service user develop in their journey as part of the sessions and it’s great to see engaging in activity like this make such a difference to their recovery.”
A service user and participant in The Tree of Discovery said:
“I’m so proud of what I have achieved. Learning new skills and different types of art has been interesting and I have gone on to do lots more artwork using those materials.”
Many people have contributed to The Tree of Discovery including service users and staff. The project has offered a platform for individuals to learn many new techniques and skills including collage, ink work, batik and fabric painting.