Portraits of the Heath is a long-term project, in collaboration with NSFT. Funded by local councillors, Comic Relief Community Cash and Ridgeons Fund, we are continually seeking funds to enable this project to continue for as long as possible.
Residential patients are taken out of Wedgwood House, onto Hardwick Heath, to look at the surroundings of their environment. Walking, fresh air and exercise, in a social and supported setting, is as important as the task itself. Patients are encouraged to take note of shadows, light and form and to take their own photographs, with a range of cameras. The work is then printed and made into creative journals with the patients, enabling expression of self and record of their journey.
An exhibition of patient’s photographic work was shown at the Apex in March 2018 and is exhibited at Wedgwood House in the corridors and rooms. The project has proved particularly successful among male patients and has developed skills, alongside boosting self-esteem and confidence and interest in the natural world.
Recent feedback from service user: “Thank you so much for the wonderful photography session today. Today’s activity gave me the opportunity to use a more advanced camera for the first time, which was very exciting. I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of operation the camera with your guidance. I thoroughly enjoyed focussing on the beauty of nature on the heath and looking at things for longer and in more detail. We don’t pause and tend to do this often enough. Whilst doing this activity I became so absorbed in the subject matter I was photographing that I was able to really relax and empty my head of all other things. Hence, it did me the power of good. This forms an important part of my journey of recovery. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity.” C, September 27th, 2018