Bloomin’ Lovely at Parkside

As with many of Exemplar’s homes, the team at Parkside are dedicated to enabling service users to indulge their passions and hobbies. A busy activities calendar makes sure there is something for everyone. But what happens when one service user wants to try something new?

Ian has been a resident at Parkside for some time, regularly participating in activities, and developing good relationships with fellow residents and staff. When speaking with activities co-ordinator Suzanne, Ian confided that he was ready to try something new – outside the home and back in the community.

Suzanne found art lessons were being held weekly at the local community centre, and encouraged Ian to try it out. Ian began lessons each Monday, and thoroughly enjoyed himself – developing a real enthusiasm for art and begun painting for staff and service users back at Parkside.

Fast-forward 16 months, Suzanne learned of an arts competition within local Sandwell, and presented Ian with the information. Excited to submit a piece of artwork, Ian asked Suzanne to accompany him around local open spaces and the canal, so he could capture images and inspiration for his piece.

Settling on an image, Ian created a beautiful watercolour painting, and submitted his entry to Sandwell with a fantastic result – Ian’s entry was one of 60 chosen to be a potential winner.

Six galleries across Sandwell each held 10 pieces of art each, with the public being able to view and vote for their favourites. When asked by the gallery what his painting was worth, Ian’s answer was simple – ‘It’s priceless!’

Quite rightly so, Ian’s painting came out number one at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Now entered into the final, along with 5 other entrants, Ian’s watercolour painting is on track to being a winner – but we still need your votes!

Community engagement is an important part of life within Exemplar – encouraging service users and the local community to engage with one another and develop life and social skills. We believe that being involved in social activities offers real therapeutic benefits to individuals. Our aim is for everyone to engage in enjoyable and fulfilling activities which help increase independence.

Voting ends September 28th, so please visit Discover Sandwell and vote for Ian! The winner will be announced at dinner event on October 12 2017. Good luck Ian!