Boat to break down barriers

A MAGNIFICENT model galleon – built as an occupational therapy project by mental health patients is to go on display to the public in a bid to break down barriers.

A MAGNIFICENT model galleon – built as an occupational therapy project by mental health patients is to go on display to the public in a bid to break down barriers.

Unveiled by the Mayor Penny Breakwell the 16th century style fighting ship will go on display at Ipswich museum.

Ten patients who helped to make it were each presented with a surprise gift – a framed photograph of the ship in recognition of their work.

The project, which has taken 18 months and around 1,000 man-hours to complete, was the brainchild of James Kemp, a keen maritime enthusiast and technical instructor at The Pines workshop at St Clements, who researched what it should look like from books and paintings.

The ship, lovingly carved from Suffolk oak, measures around 6ft by 3ft 6ins.

Patients contributed according to their ability, from hammering planks and varnishing to researching uniforms of the day and painstakingly crafting cannon and tiny figures.

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James Kemp said: "It's not a replica of any particular ship, more a piece of artwork.

"It's as good as anyone can come up with and lots of people can now enjoy it.

"The museum has a policy where they want exhibits to tie in with community relationships and are interested in promoting what goes on in St Clement's. Our ship is a fine example of what we can do here. There was a job for

everyone and we hope it will help to break down the stigma around people with mental health problems."

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