Chesterfield News


Art group for carers donates paintings to Trust base

A Chesterfield art group for carers of people with mental health issues has donated paintings to brighten up one of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s bases in the town.

Reception and office areas at Bayheath House, location for the Chesterfield Central Neighbourhood Team in Rose Hill West, Chesterfield, now look a lot more appealing thanks to the work of the town’s Mental Health Carers’ Art Group.

The art group meets every Friday from 10.30am–12.30pm at Chesterfield Labour Club, in Saltergate, Chesterfield, and members are encouraged to use the group to express themselves – even if they begin by saying they can’t draw.

Karen Wheeler, OT Lead and Professional Lead for Chesterfield Neighbourhood and Central, said: “At a service user and carer engagement meeting, members of the art group suggested that they would love to contribute to enhancing the environment of the waiting room. The local staff worked closely with the carers and our estates team to make this possible.”

Jo Slinn, Admin Manager at Bayheath House, was involved in the major task of organising and hanging the artwork, with subjects ranging from still life and landscape to an impressive series documenting a recovery journey.

Malcolm Grieve runs the art group, which he started about four years ago with the aim of encouraging any carers who enjoy, or might enjoy, creative work which would also give them some relief from their caring responsibilities.

He said: “The group offers two hours of respite and everyone is really encouraging. When we were asked if we would like to contribute some pictures to Bayheath House, of course we said yes. Staff have supported us so well.

“All the evidence is that when patients and carers engage in this sort of activity, people’s mental health and wellbeing improves, so that’s the message we want to get across. I really want to push the importance of art as a therapy.”

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