Members of a local mental health support group put the Mayor of Bury in the picture when he visited their annual art exhibition.
Attending the showcase at Bury Art Gallery with his wife Evelyn, Cllr Trevor Holt praised the quality of work on display. The paintings, sketches and multi-media artworks were created by members of START in Bury, a community support group which is run by professional artists Lisa Broadhurst and Jack Wright.
Despite receiving referrals from the NHS and Bury Council’s adult services team, the charity project no longer receives any official funding. It now relies solely on the goodwill of its volunteer artists and for members to pay small subscription fees to attend its weekly workshops.
Commenting on the mayoral visit, Cllr Holt said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure for Evelyn and I to visit the exhibition. We enjoyed it immensely and were very impressed with START which is clearly a very important community group.
“I know it no longer receives any funding, but the spirit, commitment and dedication is wonderful.”
He added that he was looking forward to learning more about START and how it supports local people recovering from mental health issues.
Boasting more than 40 members, START has been running for over 25 years and is now based at Manchester Road Community Centre.
Explaining how he project operates, Jack Wright commented: “START in Bury works because it’s an informal and mutually supportive group. Whilst there’s definitely therapeutic value in promoting and developing individual creativity, START is also very much a social group. We come together every week to make art, meet friends and develop as artists.”
The START in Bury exhibition will be open to the public until Saturday 12 October. The showcase has also been timed to coincide with World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October. Entry is free.
For more information or to support START in Bury, contact Jack Wright on 07595 219424.
Press release issued: 7 October 2019.
Picture: Mark Hilton with his work at the annual START in Bury exhibition, with the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Trevor Holt.