The Nelson Trust Women’s Centre in Brunswick Square is a very special haven for women who need extra support to get their lives back on track after dark times. Thanks to funding from Gloucestershire Community Foundation, some have been benefiting from art workshops with Stroud artist, Katie McCue, every Friday for the last year. Addiction, childhood trauma, abuse, violence, offending and mental health problems are very isolating, but the art workshops bring confidence, fresh focus and the opportunity to make new friends. This is what they say:
‘I have made a lot of friends here. I sometimes have trouble talking to professionals as I don't trust them but I can talk here.'
‘I have found it difficult due to my social phobia but felt the benefits for my mental health and the art sessions have given me a reason to get out of my flat for a bit.’
‘Many of the women had a negative experience of art at school, with the message they weren’t good enough. Others find it really difficult to believe anything positive about themselves. Despite all this, each and every one of them has challenged those beliefs and created wonderful art,’ says Katie who has headed up the project.
These women now have an opportunity to share their achievements with their neighbours. Their exhibition, The Art of Recovery, is open until 20th May at The Hub Bistro in Southgate Street, Gloucester. This exhibition is sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance.