Devonshire West Big Local were delighted to be funding a new screen-printing workshop that is happening at the YMCA every Friday evening and we went along to talk to them to find out more. Here’s their interview:
1. Please tell us a bit more about your workshops and who it’s for?
The screen-printing workshops for people aged between 11 and 19 (or upto 25 for individuals who have learning difficulties). The sessions are free at it runs every Friday night at the Eastbourne YMCA (formerly Charlies).
These workshops are about helping young people to engage positively with each other whilst creating their own designs and exploring art as a means of assisting with their mental wellbeng.
We’ve only been running for 1 month so far but the first sessions have been a great success and more local people are showing interest in the group each week.
2. Please tell me about yourselves and who is delivering these workshops?
Michell and Anoutia are running these workshops with the support of the YMCA. Michelle Murph studied graphic design at degree level and has a lot of training and work experience as a designer and Anoutia Allymohamed is qualified Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England. She has experience of teaching individuals of all ages and all abilities and is embarking on further study in mental health.
3. What kind of impact do you think you’re having on young people that live in Devonshire West?
There has been a growing understanding of the impact that art can have on mental/physical health and wellbeing. The purpose is not to replace conventional therapies but to act as an additional therapy, helping people in their recovery through creativity and increasing social engagement.
The project is new but we have already seen small differences in certain individuals. We have seen residents find new joy and catharsis in the art making process and we have seen these individuals come out of their shell and feel more comfortable and confident in their creative abilities and social interactions.
4. Do you have any future plans that you’d like to share?
We have plans to grow the project very soon – we hope to find a permanent space where we can provide even more free or low-cost art workshops in future. We also want to expand the project so that it will be available to everyone in the community. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to create and enjoy art. And our aim is to give all of the residents of Eastbourne a space to create art and use art as a means of therapy.
We also interviewed some of their young people to find out why they have been attending the workshops and learning that Harrison (aged 12) and Dylan (aged 12) have been learning how to screen print t-shirs for their scooter ‘crew’.
They have 7 people in their crew and they wanted to have the same t-shirts for everyone so when they are in the park everyone knows who they are.They also told us about how they share what they do on Instagram account and you can follow them here.
We also talked to Elouise (aged 14), Dee (aged 13) and Naomi (10) who loved the social aspect of learning how to screen print t-shirsts for their scooter team.
Please send your answers to Helen McCabe, email@example.com and send some photographs so we can highlight your work.