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Mental health project praised

PUBLISHED: 17:02 03 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

A MENTAL health project in Ipswich has been named as one of the top three of its kind in the country.

The Hollies, based in Foxhall Road, aims to give people recovering from a mental illness the chance to return to a normal working life.

A MENTAL health project in Ipswich has been named as one of the top three of its kind in the country.

The Hollies, based in Foxhall Road, aims to give people recovering from a mental illness the chance to return to a normal working life.

Now, artwork done by some of the users, could be going global after it was spotted by Susannah Rix, regional development director for the National Institute for Mental Health in England.

She decided to use the four giant batik on silk screen scenes showing the changing seasons on the front cover of her review Cases for Change.

It is also planned to use the pictures on an internet website as an example of how far things have changed for people using mental health services.

Around 10 artists worked on the huge pictures that until Christmas were hanging in the boardroom at the Ipswich Primary Care Trust.

Barbara Graham is a full time team leader in The Hollies silk printing department and is a former user of the service.

She said: "It is a real coup for us and it has raised everyone's self esteem to be valued to this extent."

The department also makes items such as cushions and hangings to be sold in The Hollies shop.

And it was at the conference of the same name that Louis Appleby, national director of mental health highlighted The Hollies for the good work they have done.

The project has now been nominated for an award which would see it becoming a beacon site that could advise and support other projects.

Jeremy Beckett, Hollies manager said: "The national director sees thousands of these projects every year and we are delighted that he remembered the Hollies.

"We think we are doing something good with the great team here but it is something else to have it confirmed at the highest level."


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