The impact of harnessing the creative talents

The impact of harnessing the creative talents

THE positive impact art can have on people in recovery from addiction was evident last week when a personal and unique exhibition went on display in Castletymon Library.

Called The Birth of Independence, the exhibition was created by eight students on the St Aengus Community Action Group’s training and education programme, which – including modules such as art, drama, literacy skills, personal development, Tai Chi, relapse prevention and work preparation – prepares those in recovery for the future.

castletymon library  4 17 November 2016

The St Aengus Community Action Group (SACAG) was formed 20 years ago by community activists in response to a serious drug problem in the area and to offer a treatment and rehabilitation aftercare service to residents of St Aengus Parish who sought help with their addiction.

Sharon Develin, who has been the art teacher on the programme for the past eight years, told The Echo: “The idea of the programme is to support those in recovery to step back into life, and all of the participants are stable and looking to the future. 

“They are upskilling in training and education and preparing to get back into the work placement.”

She added: “The participants have been working on this exhibition for the best part of the year and watching how the commemorations have been going.

“They took a personal approach to the exhibition and spent time talking with family members who had connections to 1916.
“It’s an amazing exhibition which really shows the benefits art can have on people who have been out of education or the work place for a number of years.

“It helps people to see that they are creative and that they can achieve. Exhibiting your work is great validation.”

The Birth of Independence Exhibition will run for the month of November in the Castle Tymon Library.

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