At Inspire, our aim is to support individuals within their own communities and provide the tools, skills and experiences required to enable them to live increasingly fulfilled lives, to build upon their independence and to improve employment and social opportunities.
To achieve these objectives, it was recognised that the individuals who attend our Day Service in Huntly had not had access to the same social opportunities as many people have, and would benefit from team activities to enable them to cope in group situations and to form meaningful relationships with their peers. As a result, a group art therapy project was set up.
The group use a variety of paints and implements. Each artist selects a tool, which range from rollers, scrapers, brushes, hands and even kitchen implements. Staff will then squeeze each person’s choice of paint onto the canvas. The paintings evolve during their creation with everyone working on their own section but also invading and painting over each others work.
A number of benefits have been reported by staff since the art group’s inception. Support workers have noticed marked differences in the behaviour of some of the individuals involved, most notably in their ability to work as part of a group and in the way that they interact with one another. Individual reviews have reported feelings of pride, self-worth and an increase in confidence levels.
The group are also becoming increasingly integrated into their local community, and are proving to be great ambassadors of people with learning disabilities. Their colourful and creative paintings demonstrate that they can and should make a contribution to society and become valued members of the communities in which they live.