Transported Arts, Greenfield Pottery and members of the Tonic Health groups Safe Places and the Surfleet Dementia Group at the launch of the exhibition at Spalding Library.

Helping to mould their own futures through art

Artwork created by ‘life-saving’ groups for vulnerable adults is to be part of a unique exhibition at Spalding Library.

Members of Spalding Safe Places, which provides support to people struggling with domestic abuse and those from Surfleet Dementia Group have produced the impressive array of pottery.
It follows an initiative by Transported Arts and charity Tonic Health who run the groups.
Eight-week taster sessions were put on to provide the groups something to work on and they all proved successful.
Members then voted as to which sessions they enjoyed the best so they could take them again to prepare for an exhibition.
All of the groups chose the sessions ran by Mark Judd-Cooper and Jo Rollason, of Holbeach-based Greenfield Pottery.
They ensured all of the works were professionally fired and finished with the group members finally seeing their final products at the exhibition’s launch at the library last Wednesday, February 23.
“It’s all been an incredibly rewarding process,” said Mark. “Seeing the change in them and how they’ve grown and to know we’ve played a part in that has been amazing for us.
“It’s been quite emotional to see the pride in their faces as they see the finished products.
“Within a few minutes we’ve had people so impressed with the creations they’ve asked if they’re for sale and you can see the reaction on their faces to hear that.”
As well as individual pieces, two murals have been created, one for each group, using the group members’ artworks which will be on show at their respective bases.
“We thought ‘why not make something that’s a collaborative effort as well?” said Jo.
“We’re also hoping to do something similar for Help For Heroes and to mark the Queen’s Jubilee later this year.”
One of those showing off what they had created was Helena Mason-Foster of the Safe Places group – among the things she made were an oil burner and a hedgehog.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen them finished and they’ve really brought it to life,” she said. “It’s been quite emotional.
“I’ve never given doing something like this a second thought before nor considered that I could create something like I have.
“It’s a collective effort though. We all supported each other and built them up together.
“The members of the group are like a family to me.
“I was living on my own and the COVID lockdowns really got to me.
“I was referred to Tonic Health and it’s been a real lifesaver really. It’s a lovely place.”
Jean Gifford is the care co-ordinator of the Surfleet Dementia Group.
“These sessions have been so great as the pandemic and lockdowns have been tough for people with dementia.
“We kept in touch with the group members through phone calls as best we could, but to get back face-to-face and put on craft sessions like this has been fantastic.
“They all absolutely loved it and you could see their cognitive skills developing as a result.
“What they’ve created is brilliant and every one of the artworks is unique, but that’s also exactly what people with dementia are, unique.”

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