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Norwich soldier paints his pain in cafe mural

Artist Andrew Bolton(right) and disabled people who have participated in creating the new painted mural on the wall of the café in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich
Photo by Simon Finlay

Artist Andrew Bolton(right) and disabled people who have participated in creating the new painted mural on the wall of the café in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich Photo by Simon Finlay

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Disabled people decorated the wall of the cafe in Chapelfield Gardens to highlight the problems they face as government cuts bite.

The artists drew their messages and worked with artist Andrew Bolton to produce a painted mural on the wall of the cafe.

Councillor Amy Stammers, who unveiled the work yesterday, said: “Art is a brilliant medium for expression, and it’s great to see all their ideas brought together in this form for all the people that visit Chapelfield Gardens to observe and enjoy.”

Researcher Rebecca Yeo, from the UK Disabled People’s Council, said the project was trying to discover the priorities of disabled people and their aspirations.

The mural includes a soldier looking at a mine, which is meant to show how soldiers continue to live in a metaphorical minefield when they return from the frontline. One ex-serviceman, who did not want to be named, described his extreme isolation and the lack of support he had received. He said: “They try and fit you into a category. They haven’t got the understanding, so they pass you on and class you as an inconvenience.”

And Caroline Fairless-Price, from Norwich, expressed her dismay at being offered funding to buy the home care services she needed, only to find that the county council service she was using had been axed.

Caroline said: “Social service is no longer a service, but the smaller private providers can’t match their flexibility and stability.”

The mural opening came on the eve of the Hardest Hit Rally, which will be held in Chapelfield Gardens today, to demonstrate against the government cuts.

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