Photo exhibition will help to Transform people’s livesBy Victoria Smith
June 19, 2012
A charity working to transform the lives of Wokingham people needing extra support has given its clients a platform to expressthemselves creatively.
Victoria Smith found out more about the work of Transform Housing and Support.
People supported by a housing charity have seen their creative talents put on display at an exhibition in Wokingham town centre.
Actress Penelope Keith CBE was among special guests at the launch of the exhibition in Peach Street, as she is patron of the Transform Housing and Support charity.
The exhibition, titled ‘Different Perspectives’, shows photographs taken by clients of Transform during an eight-month creative arts project.
Transform provides housing and support for 135 people in Wokingham, in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council.
The charity runs a ‘floating support’ service to assist people in their own homes with housing-related issues, to help them to stay living independently.
Transform also runs supported housing for 30 people with mental health issues in the Wokingham area.
Clients receive support in a wide range of areas, including debt and budgeting, problems with mortgages or tenancies, and issues with mental, physical or emotional health.
Each client has their own Transform support worker, who helps them to develop the skills and confidence to live more independently.
Carolyn Collyer, project manager of the floating support service, said: “The photography project has been a really exciting opportunity for our clients.
“The people we help often lack confidence and can become quite isolated.
“This was a chance for people to get involved in a creative activity and make a positive contribution, but also show their personality.
“They did an outstanding job and the diversity of the photos has been brilliant.
“All our clients can be very proud of what they have achieved.
“We could not have done this without some extraordinary help and I would like to thank everyone who supported the project.”
Penelope Keith was joined by the mayor of Wokingham borough Councillor Bob Wyatt for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially declare the exhibition open.
The clients who participated in the project came to the launch event to see their artworks on display.
One of the people who took part in the project was Amanda, who was referred to Transform Housing & Support in 2010.
She was living temporarily with her daughter while going through a divorce from her husband and was also suffering from some issues with her physical and mental health.
She said: “Now I feel like I am coming out of myself for the first time in 35 years. I am settled into my new house and coping a lot better with my illnesses.
“I have a new job, providing support for people with learning disabilities, which is going really well.
“There are still good days and bad days but I feel like I’m getting over things. Tamara gave me back my wings and sent me back on the right track.”
The ‘Different perspectives’ exhibition will run until June 24 and is open Wednesday to Saturday, midday to 4pm at More Arts, 43c Peach Street, Wokingham.