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Mental health art group can continue exhibitions thanks to charity grant

PUBLISHED: 10:25 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:25 21 February 2017

The Well Artists group. Left to right, Hannah Ayres, Lynda Waterson, Helen Goddard. Photo: Marc Betts

The Well Artists group. Left to right, Hannah Ayres, Lynda Waterson, Helen Goddard. Photo: Marc Betts

Marc Betts

A group which supports people’s mental health though art is helping members boost their confidence and work towards recovery.

The Well Artists, which work across Norfolk, support each other by discussing problems in their lives, art projects and bringing art works they have created from home.

And thanks to a £500 grant from Comic Relief they are able to keep putting on exhibitions to show the public what they do.

The group formed in 2006 and meet on the first Thursday of every month at the Workshop Cafe, in Earlham Road, Norwich.

They host two free exhibitions a year at the Forum and St Margaret’s Church - but funding essential to hire the venues.

Spokeswoman, Lynda Waterson is a printer and has dissociative identity disorder. The 66-year-old said: “Displaying our art allows us to challenge the public’s ideas of mental health. We always receive such lovely comments from the public and they enjoy our range of art works.”

Painter, sculptor and photographer Helen Goddard, 42, joined the group last August after struggling with bipolar and found being able to display her art gave her a huge confidence boost.

“I’ve found friendship and encouragement, art is now my saving grace,” she said. “It’s up there with my family as a reason to carry on during the frequent dark times of having bipolar.

“When I had my first exhibition I didn’t want to display my work, but when it sold it was a real boost.”

The group raises funds through a £3 monthly fee and through members fundraising but additional cash is needed from charities such as Comic Relief.

Anyone is welcome to join and can get in touch by searching The Well Artists, by attending a meeting on the 11th of each month or calling 01603 614216.

• Deserving community groups like The Well Artists shared almost £40,000 in charity cash last year, distributed by this newspaper in association with the Norfolk Community Foundation and Comic Relief – and this year we’ve teamed up again. If your group would benefit from a grant of up to £1,000, more details will be announced on March 24.

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