Visitors to the Mirfield day centre will now be greeted by a wonderful exhibition of photography, created by a group of people with mental health problems. The digital photography group has been running for 3 months now and the group’s work will now brighten up the reception area of the day centre for the next few months. The group has visited lots of local beauty spots and places of interest to take the pictures such as Bretton Park, National Coal Mining Museum, Ings Grove and Ponderosa.
‘I’ve enjoyed being creative and going out and taking photographs. It’s been good to connect with nature through the camera,’ says group-member John Watson. ‘I’ve improved my computer skills and learnt how to use a digital camera. Sometimes it’s been hard because with my condition there can be difficulties with memory and concentration. The staff have really helped me though and the group has kept me focused.’
Photography has now become a regular hobby for Sharon Wrigglesworth, another member of the group. ‘I often borrow the camera from the centre and take it out with me. I like taking photos when I go out with the walking group here. My favourite photos are of animals – it was enjoyable taking those. I also liked socialising with the other members of the group and getting to know them, I feel more confident now and I’m really proud of the exhibition,’ continues Sharon.
Day Centre officer Jo Kay, who ran the group, thinks all the members have really benefited from it. ‘Socially the group has bonded, and everyone’s self esteem and confidence has grown. It’s nice that other people can see the work – it’s a brilliant exhibition.’
Jo hopes that the work can be exhibited in the community in the future so members of the public can see it. ‘People often focus on the negative aspects of mental health,’ says John. ‘It would be nice for people to see some of the positive things we do for a change.’