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A new piece of artwork has been created by ²gether service users.

The piece was commissioned by our Chair Ruth FitzJohn, and is now on display in her office at Trust headquarters, Rikenel, in Gloucester.

“I approached the occupational therapy department at Wotton Lawn, our Gloucester hospital, and invited them to involve a group of inpatients in creating something new to display in our headquarters building,” Ruth explained.

“I was interested in something which represented ideas of recovery and hope for the future during admission to a mental health unit.”

Working with occupational therapists, the patients discussed their ideas over several weeks. The process involved word gathering, exploration of themes, colours, techniques and materials to be used.

The final result was a mixed media piece of artwork measuring over one metre square.

Some participants found the process challenging and didn’t believe they were in any way artistic. However, when given support and encouragement to participate in the occupational therapy led session, they were surprised by their own achievements.

The process helped everyone involved to develop a sense of pride, which led to an increase in self confidence. It also allowed people to develop new skills or build upon skills they already had.

“The final product is outstanding – thought provoking, colourful and very striking,” Ruth explained.

“I didn’t need it to be beautiful, but did need it to be powerful and to provoke the thoughts of all the visitors to the trust who pass through my office. In fact it is visually stunning as well as completely evocative of struggle, progress and hope”