A digital artist has been commissioned to brighten up an NHS mental health service in Blyth after a charitable donation from a local woman’s group.
Artist and illustrator Gail Armstrong from Blyth has created nine original paintings of landmarks within Blyth which are now on display at the town’s Plessey Centre, a mental health community clinic for people in South Northumberland.
The Plessey Centre is home to the South Northumberland Community Treatment Team, part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) which provides mental health and disability services across the North East. The team provides an assessment and treatment service for people who are experiencing difficulty with their mental health.
Last year Blyth Labour Party Women’s Forum celebrated the NHS’s 70th birthday by hosting a tea party at Blyth Battery museum. On the day they raised money for their local mental health team and wanted to use it to enhance the Plessey Centre.
Wanting to keep the donation within Blyth, the management discussed and found a local digital artist, Gail Armstrong from Start with a Doodle.
Gail created and framed nine paintings of landmarks within Blyth, for the Plessey Centre which have now been hung in the treatment rooms. To keep the money local, they were also framed at Star Framing in Blyth, who kindly discounted the price.
The artwork has brightened up our spaces and created a warm welcoming environment throughout the centre. I’d like to thank Gail for her brilliant work and the Women’s Forum for their generous donationAnne Marie LambClinical Manager at NTW
The landmarks include Blyth Library, Mr Ridley’s Ice Cream Parlour, Blyth Lighthouse, Beulah House, Frameworks, Blyth Beach and the Beach Huts.
Gail is also the Chair of the Royal British Legion branch in Blyth following 18 years’ service in the Royal Navy. When she left the Royal Navy she ventured into adult teaching and then got back into art.
Her career started working with young people who had social barriers which made it difficult to find employment. When running the sessions to get the young people to participate Gail would ‘start with a doodle’ which is where the idea for her art business name began.
Mental health particularly that of armed forces veterans is close to my heart, so I was delighted to be asked to provide the artwork, which I hope has created a pleasing space for the service users.Gail ArmstrongStart With a Doodle
More information about the South Northumberland Community Treatment Team is available at: https://www.ntw.nhs.uk/services/central-south-northumberland-community-treatment-team-greenacres-centre-ashington/
Find out more about Gail Armstrong’s work at https://www.startwithadoodle.co.uk/about