Kath Doherty

“Originally I was attending a class for woodcarving one afternoon a week, but having depression and anxiety, I wasn’t able to go out as often as I wanted. In 2016 I met Kathryn and she introduced me to Artrium. After a few short weeks attending, I soon felt comfortable in my environment. I was able to experiment with other art mediums and I soon learnt a lot more about my illness through other members, volunteers and staff. I was able to talk about my illness and was never discriminated, only understood.

Being a casualty of mental ill health most of my adult life, I seemed to be in the net of prescriptions. When attending doctor’s appointments, I always felt like I was a number and not a person, being prescribed the same easy method and becoming reliant on medication.

Since attending the Artrium my relapses have become very few because of the care the Artrium offers amongst all the practical things that they do to help people move forward in life. I am now one prescription down since attending here.

I have also moved forward with my wood carving. I have been encouraged with my art form and most of all I have the will to attend there as I now feel a sense of belonging, even out of hours.” 

Terry Alexander

“I have been coming to Artrium for many years and I have been given lots of support and guidance for my problems. My skills have improved immensely. No one is judged and everyone gets on. I have improved my artistic skills as well as gaining my Level 1 Maths and English qualifications and made many new friends in the process.”

I can’t believe that I have been coming here since 2011. I have surprised myself at my personal development – due mostly to the amount of support and guidance from the staff and the artistic direction from the artists and volunteers.

I cannot express my gratification enough regarding the amount of support – not only for me but also my family. I must also say thanks for the wide circle of friends that I now have, something I never had before. I know I am safe, well looked after and I know that if I need help I only have to ask and its given without any thought.”

Alex Nugent

“I absolutely love coming to Artrium; it has changed my life for the better. It’s a lovely, helpful and relaxing environment with great staff, volunteers and members. A wonderful place to go and express your artistic skills and be your own person.

Although I live in Middlesbrough and the travel, can, sometimes be difficult, it is well worth it for me. I get so much out of attending. It’s a social environment for me as well as a creative centre. I class all of the members as friends and it feels like one big family, where everyone is safe and no one is judged or discriminated.

The support has been superb for not just my art but also my social and my health/family. I would be lost without the Artrium. “

Shirley Carruthers

“Originally I found out about Artrium through the Job Centre. I was apprehensive at first but I soon found my place in the studio and have been attending once a fortnight ever since.

I started by working from step by step books and eventually, with encouragement and help from a volunteer, started creating my own designs and digitally enhanced them. We have worked together as a team ever since.

I was encouraged to enter work into Artrium Gallery and have sold a range of work, held exhibitions in galleries around the North East, been scouted from a gallery in Brighton and am currently working on an exhibition in Paris. Each collection has its own distinct theme.

A lot of my designs come from thoughts and dreams that I have experienced which has helped me express myself, and in turn, helped get me through some tough times with my mental health. I really enjoy my time at Artrium, it’s given me confidence in myself as I have managed to create work that I never thought I would be able to.”

Neville Hill

“I have been coming to Artrium since 2015. I can say that it has changed my life. Prior to coming I had no confidence, I had no qualifications and certainly no friends.

In no time at all, I felt relaxed with the other members and made friends with peers very quickly.

I was encouraged to take literacy and numeracy qualifications, which I’m pleased to say I passed both!

I have been assisted in many ways with my experienced metal health and my private life, the staff have made huge in-roads for me and have acted as an advocate on several occasions. My confidence has soared and I am now living in Yarm as Artrium staff helped me get a newer house that suited my personal needs.

My artistic skills have improved and I have branched out to other crafts such as pottery and new medias – I LOVE doing it as it makes me feel so relaxed, I didn’t know I had the talent! Its definitely my 2nd home.”

Angela Swinbourne