The Community Asset Fund has twice awarded grants to the “Inspired By Art Project” at The Bureau – Centre for the Arts in Blackburn. It is an arts project for those in Recovery in Blackburn with Darwen who may not necessarily benefit from the traditional Group Model yet still need Peer Support in their Recovery from Alcohol and Substance Misuse.

When they applied for their second Grant, they asked one of their participants, Patrick, to go on stage and talk about the Project and what it does and means for him. Lots of you will know or remember Patrick and realise that, to do something like that takes a lot of courage as he had always been known to be low in confidence.

Art is too easily dismissed by some as being something whimsical whose benefits are ephemeral. The Inspired By Arts Project has enabled its users, especially Patrick, to create their own Social Networks whilst being able to successfully remain in Recovery. The Users horizons have been expanded and their outlook on the world around them has been positively changed.

Please take your time to look at the photographs of Patrick and his work. A year in the making but the benefits to Patrick will be permanent.

What a difference a year makes. Patrick is now an Exhibited Artist and a valued member of the Group. He is expressing himself in ways he hasn’t been able to before as he has been given the time and space, as well as the resources, to develop his skills. His work shows true progression both in the development of ideas but in his personality as well.