Creative COVID Recovery Festival forthcoming in Birmingham with charity aid

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Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies are due to present an arts festival at South Yardley Library later this month.

The local charity intends to celebrate the work created by the many diverse communities of Birmingham throughout and following the pandemic.

BCAT will have a permanent showing of art work, along with some of their arts in health facilitators running workshops.

The host of the event, Emily Perks, said: “This event is a celebration of all the work that has been created by the many diverse communities of Birmingham throughout, and following the pandemic.

“We have delivered hundreds of free face to face workshops as well as online workshops. 

“BCAT went full force in giving people free safe spaces in their local communities where they could discuss concerns and socialise after such a long time in isolation.

“This has helped to build up groups of local support. Using the arts as a medium of expression and learning new holistic skills enables individuals to practice such relaxing activities away from sessions.

“We wanted to give our clients this exhibition as a chance to show their work – to celebrate their journey and to show the similarities between people’s experiences.”

The ex-Birmingham City University student intends to do a Masters to become a qualified arts psychotherapist. Perks currently works for the local charity, supporting and hosting exhibitions and workshops.

Leonard Cheshire is one of the leading providers of services to disabled people. The major health and welfare charity are sourcing two Can Do groups to take part in the art workshops which will be part of the exhibition at the library which will be taking place from 24-26 February.

Stacey Lewis, Can Do programme Co-Ordinator at Leonard Cheshire, said: “We’ve been working with BCAT since 2019. They have been a service provider for us, with their artists being involved in some of our Can Do projects. We work with BCAT to plan out project activities.”

Can Do is a skills development programme encouraging individuals aged 16-35 with a disability or long term health condition to gain new life skills and promote independence.

Lewis added: “Many of the people we work with are affected by mental health challenges, so linking up with events like this really helps us better support the people we work with. It ensures the projects we deliver are really relevant to what people actually need – and this has been especially important during the pandemic where people’s mental health has been affected even more. 

“Mental health is a really important topic that should be talked about widely and projects like this enable us to be part of that conversation.”

The venue for the event, Birmingham Yardley Library.
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