Ship building in the North East

A Sunderland hospital has been chosen to build model ships as part of the Tall Ships Race.

Service users and staff from Hopewood Park, which is part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services have been selected to display their model ships on the cities quayside as part of the Tall Ships celebration event that is taking place in Sunderland this July.

NTW are working in collaboration with Cultural Spring, a six year project for people living in Sunderland and South Tyneside to experience and enjoy art and culture.

Cultural Spring have employed an artist who will work with the service users to produce the model ships to scale either as a group or individually.

This is a great opportunity for our service users to take part in a cultural event that is important to the local community. It is hoped that taking part in this project will support them to feel part of the local community, valued for the contribution they have made and also be given the opportunity to develop positive memories and skills, such as working together and having positive stories to tell.

Sharon StilesSpecialist Occupational Therapist, NTW

There will be an opportunity for services users to work collaboratively with children from St Paul’s school Ryhope and members of the local community to create a ship together.

Participants will also be able to name their models after one of the Keel Line ships which will then be gifted to a visiting tall ship for them to carry on to their next location. The event will culminate in a crew parade on Thursday 12 July from the port in Hendon to Keel Square where there will be an opportunity for all ship builders to join in the celebration.