New art therapy group promotes mental health

A new arts club has been set up in Berwick to provide a safe place where adults experiencing mental health issues can have a go at a range of art forms or develop existing talents.'The Wellbeing Arts Group (WAG) meets weekly on Thursdays 10.30am to 12.30pm at Berwick Baptist church hall.
A new arts club has been set up in Berwick to provide a safe place where adults experiencing mental health issues can have a go at a range of art forms or develop existing talents.'The Wellbeing Arts Group (WAG) meets weekly on Thursdays 10.30am to 12.30pm at Berwick Baptist church hall.

A new arts club has been set up to provide a safe place where adults experiencing mental health issues can have a go at a range of art forms or develop existing talents.

The Wellbeing Arts Group (WAG) meets weekly on Thursdays between 10.30am to 12.30pm at Berwick Baptist church hall. It’s an informal group where having a go is what its all about, and there are never mistakes or disasters - things just sometimes turn out differently to expected!

One of the founders, Wendy Ward, said, “I think opportunities like this are very important. I know when I had a mental illness being able to feel safe and have a go at arts alongside people with similar experiences really helped my recovery. I felt I could still turn up even when I was having a bad day because I knew everyone else understood!”

So far members have experimented with mod roc, sculpture, water colours, acrylics and collage. Members also provided decorations for the window of the Pop-Up Christmas Presence Shop last December.

WAG has recently been awarded £3000 from the Readman Family Grassroots Fund at the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. This has enabled the group to have artists facilitate workshops in preparation for WAG hosting an exhibition during World Mental Health Week (May 13-19).

The club is free and anyone 18 or over experiencing mental health issues is welcome. If you’re interested or just want to know more call John Hodgkins on 07795 908207.