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We are students from the MSc in Entrepreneurship at the University of Surrey, who are helping local charity Oakleaf Enterprise raise a minimum of £500 towards the art workshop they run for people suffering with mental ill-health in the community.
Oakleaf is the only mental health charity in Surrey working as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues. They offer training in horticulture, upholstery, IT and print finishing, enabling people to acquire new skills and ultimately return to work. Alongside these they offer a range of Social Inclusion Activities that cater towards building confidence, physical health and wellbeing. Through their placement at Oakleaf, clients are able to gain up-to-date qualifications, practical experience and increase their confidence levels. Oakleaf also operates as a social enterprise, selling high quality upholstery, gardening and print finishing and fulfilment services at competitive rates.
The estimated population for Surrey is 1.1million, with 681,000 adults of working age. Out of this number, more than 80,000 people in the County, have mental health needs. Out of Guildford, Waverley and Woking’s population of 214,900 18-64 year olds, it is estimated that 19,242 of these people suffer mixed depression and anxiety. Some people do recover, as they respond well to treatment and medication without too much damage to their emotional, social and working life.
Mental health problems can be present in a wide variety of ways, depending upon the individual and circumstances. It is difficult to define what is ‘normal’, other than to use an individual’s usual behaviour as a point of comparison. Changes in people’s mood and personality can provide important indicators as to how they are feeling. Unusual mood swings or social withdrawal might, for example, provide some indication that the person is experiencing some degree of emotional distress.The information below describes the differing types of mental illness and provides links to other sources of information.
Oakleaf exists to help people who are less fortunate and find their road to recovery more difficult to achieve. Finding and keeping a job is an important aspect of the recovery process and ensuring the right support is provided is vital.
Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life. — Pablo Picasso
Painting is one of the activities of art therapy which can help clients to relax, express themselves, relieve stress and improve their self-esteem. Painting brings on a flow of creative ideas, which can help stimulate and rebuild confidence.
Julian, one of the clients, who is currently attending the art workshops at Oakleaf also came up with his own creative idea to place tissue on his painting in order to make it look more vivid.
There are many benefits to art therapy; more significantly it helps clients gain social approval and recognition through the creation and presentation of their work. By supporting a project like this, we hope to also help end the discrimination, fear and misunderstanding of mental illness in our communities, and increase better awareness of good mental health.
There is no quick fix with mental illness. It takes time and significant resources to help someone who, as a result of their condition, is unable to cope with the activities of daily living, is isolated and in despair, to being able to look after themselves properly, take part in social activities, be an active member of their community and hold down a job.
£500 will be invested in the art workshop, offering new painting tools, materials and equipment. Your generosity can make a big difference. We will be greatly appreciative if you would join us in raising awareness of better mental health in our community and be equally grateful if you shared this project via social media.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.