The Year of Drawing

The Year of Drawing was a participatory drawing project for people with mental health difficulties. Finishing in 2018; it has been our most ambitious project to date. It allowed the promotion of artistic activity across the South East, reaching large numbers of NHS service users and staff.

We completed 30 pop up drawing studios in adult settings across Sussex and Hampshire as part of the project, and 15 sessions in CAMHS settings. Alongside this we delivered workshops, public exhibitions and a symposium. Three 5 week Recovery College courses based around drawing were also created, taking place in De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; The Hawth, Crawley; and Worthing Museum, Worthing. Over 900 participants have taken part directly in drawing activities through this project and our work has been seen by approximately 15,800 people as audience members.

I want to stay here forever.” – Young person, pop up studio participant.

Images from the Year of Drawing collection were rolled out as screensavers across SPFT computers, reaching approximately 5,000 members of staff. Postcard  packs were also printed and distributed across Trust sites. To this day, images from the Year of Drawing adorn the walls of Aldrington House in Hove and welcome visitors to the Trust HQ building at Swandean.

Here is some more feedback:

I found this pop up art group very good. I found I could do things that I wasn’t able to do before and this has made by interest in art come back. I am thankful for you people for coming and it made my Saturday afternoon more enjoyable and I would love it for you guys to come again as it has helped me and some of my friends. Thank you please come again.”

I like it lots and I would recommend it. It got me out of the house and I feel safe.”

 “I came in the room tense and agitated… I spent time looking and drawing and listening and now I feel relaxed.”

How you can help

Whether you make a donation, attend an event or fundraise for us, every penny will help make life better for people with mental health problems.