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21st Sep, 2021

Painting group helps budding artists cope with disability or isolation

Laura Kearns 20th Oct, 2018

BUDDING artists who use art to help with disability or to cope with isolation have spoken out about what a colourful charity means to them.

Painting for Pleasure has been running in Leamington for nearly 25 years supporting disabled residents and carers.

The weekly group, which has some 50 members and meets every Wednesday at the Westbury Centre, allows participants to work on their own pieces with the help of qualified tutors.

Group treasurer Alan Will says he has been attending sessions for the past seven years.

He told the Observer: “The group has allowed me to learn how to paint, interact with different people, to see how they interpret the subject we are painting.

“It has also allowed me to make new friends and become part of a group that has the same interest as me.

“Being treasurer has made me aware how difficult it is to raise money to keep the group going, and the tough times other charities are going through.”

The charity was previously supported financially by government, but when this dried up it had to regularly apply for grants.

Its most recent of around £9,000 from Heritage Lottery enabled participants to create a seven metre mural to remember those who fought in the First World War.

The group spent several months researching the Great War, particularly the changing attitudes towards disability and injury in the 100 years since it ended.

Their mural will be on display in the Pump Rooms until November 11.

Art tutor Helena Godwin said the group was always on the lookout for new members.

She said: “Painting for Pleasure is a group especially for disabled people and those living with or recovering from illness, including carers needing some respite and those who feel isolated. Members can work on their own projects, at their own pace, with the help of qualified art tutors.

“We welcome new members and any suggestions for funding as we rely on grants both local and national to continue this unique group.”

Visit www.painting4pleasure.org.uk for more information.

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