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“I see more people and I feel so much better about myself!”

Val and her friend Julie

Meet Val who loves her local People’s Health Trust funded art group in Norfolk. She has been attending for over a year and has made connections in her community that she didn’t have before.

“I just love going to the Art and Wellbeing group on a Monday. You walk in and it’s warm and comfortable with a feeling of community.

“I’ve met some old faces – some of whom I’ve worked with in the past and haven’t seen for years. I’ve also made new friends and we all support each other through sad times, of which we’ve had a few recently. It’s a real support network. Now, if I bump into people at the shops, I stop and chat whereas I wouldn’t have before. I really feel like I know people now.

“I find the group helps to keep my mind active. It’s very easy as you get older to sit on your backside and do nothing but somethings you need to get out there and try things. I’d encourage others to give it a go! The group gives me a sense of belonging and helps with my confidence.

“I suffer with anxiety and going along on a Monday gives me a reason to go out and I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s not just the art, it’s the wellbeing side too. Some people come along just for that! We’ve even had sing-songs around the table.

“My favourite thing is collaging; it’s a great way to express yourself. I am a very arty crafty person; I used to help out at school. I’d spend ages doing arty things with the children and loved it so much. Now I like to see what others in the group are doing and listen to their ideas.

“I am onto my second sketchbook now and I work on them at home too. It used to be that if I couldn’t get out to work in my garden, I used to just sit there and twiddle my thumbs. Now I get on with my arts and crafts journals.

“Through the group, I see more people and I feel so much better about myself!”

The Local People project is funded by the People's Health Trust, an independent charity addressing health inequalities across Great Britain. It makes grants using money raised by 51 society lotteries through The Health Lottery. Since 2015, Royal Voluntary Service has been working on six Local People's Projects, funded through People’s Health Trust’s Local People Programme. These projects take a neighbourhood approach, engaging with local people and enabling them to address wider issues in their communities through collective action.

Posted by at 00:00 Tuesday, 11 September 2018.

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