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Dementia Drawing group: participants, carers, teachers, family and, in boater, life model.

Dementia Drawing group: participants, carers, teachers, family and, in boater, life model.

Vote, vote, vote for people’s projects in Hastings

It’s not just the forthcoming local elections which require your vote – two community initiatives based in Hastings have been shortlisted in this year’s People’s Projects competition – Dementia Drawing and the Hope Project. Judy Parkinson of Dementia Drawing puts HOT in the picture.

Dementia Drawing and the Hope Project are among five projects shortlisted in the South East region. The three gathering most votes will be declared winners, each earning a life-changing £50,000. So both the Hastings projects could win – but there’s only one vote per region allowed per email address.

ITV’s local news programme Meridian East will be featuring both projects, Dementia Drawing on Monday 16 April and The Hope Project on Tuesday 17 April, both at 6pm.

To place your vote visit the People’s Projects website. Voting opens at 9am on Monday 16 April and closes at midday on Monday 30th.

Filming the Hope Project at Seaview.

Filming the Hope Project at Seaview.

Success in this competition would enable both projects to expand their horizons considerably. Dementia Drawing would have the resources to grow from a small group that holds drawing sessions in just three care homes to become an established organization meeting the need in the dementia community for regular classes for more people, in more places, while the Hope Project would use the grant to work intensively with five groups of people who are either vulnerable or on the margins of society to explore ideas around hope, aspiration and change.

The Hope Project A collaboration between Hastings-based artists and aims to enhance wellbeing by combining arts and coaching. Local groups work with their hands to explore their feelings about hope and set goals for the future. It will culminate in a public exhibition presenting a rich picture of life from a range of very different perspectives.

Lee Shearman, right, running a workshop for Skeletons Out of the Closet, a previous project delivered by the Hope Project team (Photo: Mike Laloë).

Lee Shearman, left, running a workshop for Skeletons Out of the Closet, a project delivered by the Hope Project team (Photo: Mike Laloë).

Janey Moffatt, crafter and chief for the Hope Project and known locally for her work with the Jerwood Gallery and for yarn bombing on Hastings Pier, says, “We know how beneficial creative activities can be for people’s mental health, whatever your situation, because of the kind of concentration it takes, but also because it can be an opportunity to work through things and get them off your chest.

“Alongside that, these sessions will give people the opportunity to be clearer about where they want to go and when you have a clear picture of what you want it is easier to take steps to get there.”

Dementia Drawing “Our classes involve a nearly naked model, an art teacher and a few sticks of charcoal plus some cartridge paper,” says Judy, who is the project director. “There’s always a lovely atmosphere, and sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes song. People draw with a freedom that allows a special kind of vision and creativity.

Art tutor Robert Sample, Celia Mortimer and her daughter Julia.

Art tutor Robert Sample, Celia Mortimer and her daughter Julia.

“People living with dementia still have a relevant place in the world and we let them express themselves in new and surprising ways, and in the process try to break stigmas attached to dementia.  Our classes are for carers too, giving them new things to talk about with those who may have lost the art of conversation.”

Julia Mortimer, who draws with her mum, says: “It should be heartbreaking, but this strange role reversal is joyous, it gives me an opportunity to share mother and daughter activity in a way we haven’t since my childhood. Dementia Drawing helps me see what she sees and it gives me the chance to enter her world for an hour.”

The People’s Projects is a collaboration between the Big Lottery Fund, the National Lottery, ITV and STV. This year, its 13th, it has shortlisted 95 community-based schemes across the UK: the winners, three in each region, will share of pot of £3 million.


For enquiries about The Hope Project contact Sophie Shaw at or on 0771 213 7760.

For more information on Dementia Drawing contact Judy Parkinson at or on 07768 633755.

If you don’t have an email address, you can vote by post – see instructions on the People’s Projects website.


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Posted 17:23 Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 In: Health Matters

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