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Sally uses her love for art to brighten up her community

Sally

Wakefield, England

I’ve been helping out at The Addy in Wakefield since 2018. The adventure playground-based project brings the local community together. Since I started getting involved, they’ve offered me a part time role running a weekly intergenerational arts group where older members of the community get to explore art along with children under five and their parents.

My mental health was at a low point when I got the chance to join The Addy. I used my love of art to redecorate the walls of the playground with murals. It really helped me. I went from not wanting to get out of bed to wanting to finish my murals. Then they asked me to lead more sessions with children in the community. It’s been great seeing the kids enjoy art as much as I do and passing that onto them.

I spend about three days a week working for The Addy. During lockdown, the Wild Tots art group sessions had to go on hold, but I was still working. Instead of people meeting up, I was calling our regulars, the older participants and the parents of the young children to check in with them, have a chat and make sure they had enough shopping. We also started delivering COVID-19 care parcels. I’m starting on Christmas presents for the kids now – 178 parcels.

I think everyone should get involved in their community. I love it! What you get back is so rewarding. It grows your self-worth. It’s about finding the right place for you. I’d say start off small, try an hour a week and build from there.