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My name is Alison Lapper - I am an artist, presenter and disability campaigner. I'm also a member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. You may recognise me from the Alison Lapper Pregnant statue by my friend Marc Quinn, erected in Trafalgar Square in 2005.
I know the power of art and how it can help you overcome anxiety, grief and get you out of some very dark times. I've experienced these dark times first hand with the tragic passing of my son Parys.
Parys was just 19 years old when he died from an accidental drug overdose. He was anxious, depressed and self harming. I'm determined that my son's death won't be in vain.
Help combat isolation and loneliness and improve mental health and wellbeing in young people
As a result of my loss and in the hope to make a difference for others, I have set up ‘The Drug of Art’, an exciting project that uses art and creative expression to help young people with their mental health and wellbeing, combating the isolation and loneliness that has only become more commonplace since the Covid-19 pandemic.
With your support, we can bring The Drug of Art to schools and communities through a number of different ways:
We will run in-person art workshops and an education programme, encouraging people to express how they’re feeling through art. They will be run by a range of different artists to build confidence, curiosity, creativity, emotional wellbeing and resilience in children and adults and help them to express how they feel through a love of art and making.
Young people and schools will be able to access specially crafted digital masterclasses with well-known artists free of charge to help kickstart their creativity.
The Drug of Art Exhibition
We’re launching a competition that will give young people the chance to have their work exhibited at our Drug of Art Exhibition, which will feature Alison's work alongside a number of international artists including Rankin and Marc Quinn.
We’re launching a podcast, talking to artists from all walks of life about their experiences with mental health difficulties and how art helped them.
Who will this help?
Over the past year we've focused the project in the South of England with a target reach of 25,000 young people across 500 schools. Now we are ready to expand our charity.
With additional funds we could expand the reach of the Drug of Art programme and help even more young people in need across the UK making it a national project.
How you can help
However much or little you’re able to give, your support will help us support young people with their mental health across the UK.
Help spread the word and encourage others to donate as well! We would also love to see a selfie of you wearing your exclusive Drug of Art T-shirt when it arrives. Don't forget to tag us @thedrugof.art on Instagram! #TheDrugOfArt
Get in touch
If you think you may have a reward that we could add to our project to encourage donations, please get in touch at [email protected]
Why is this project important?
1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year and yet there continues to be a huge stigma around the issue. The Covid 19 pandemic has triggered a 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression (Source WHO), particularly in young people, and isolation is a real issue for so many as a result.
In an ideal world, mental health support would be widely available to young people but sadly this is not the case. Funding for children's mental health services is at an all-time low, yet the demand for these lifesaving services is up 134%.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a growing appreciation for how engaging with art can play a valuable role in helping people who are struggling with their mental health. It can enable people to take greater responsibility for their wellbeing and maintain levels of independence, curiosity and improve quality of life.
However, art isn’t always accessible to all. We want to focus on these areas to make a difference and provide a safe space to discuss and raise awareness of the help that is out there.
Rewards for your support
To show our appreciation for your support we’ve worked with some high-profile artists to bring you some exclusive rewards. Four internationally renowned artists - Rankin, Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper and Gary Mansfield - have each designed an exclusive T-shirt for the Drug of Art Project.
There are a limited number of these t-shirts available, so be quick and claim one while you can!
Alison's image is used by courtesy of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Worldwide.
Other rewards include:
- Your name on the Drug of Art wall of fame.
As a show of thanks and acknowledgement for helping to make this happen, your name will be listed on our website and in any exhibition programmes as a supporter for this great cause.
How you can find The Drug of Art