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Placing art at the heart of rehabilitation

Wednesday 12th February 2014 at 5pm 0 Comments Arts & Health

Robert Young, Darren Condon and Dermot Smyth are pictured taking part in the weekly ceramics workshops run by potter Eleanor Wheeler at Cuan Mhuire, Ireland’s largest voluntary provider of Rehabilitation Treatment for individuals suffering from addiction Image: Robert Young, Darren Condon and Dermot Smyth are pictured taking part in the weekly ceramics workshops run by potter Eleanor Wheeler at Cuan Mhuire, Ireland’s largest voluntary provider of Rehabilitation Treatment for individuals suffering from addiction

Cuan Mhuire, Ireland’s largest voluntary provider of Rehabilitation Treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and other related issues, has received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to provide a series of arts based workshops for service users. 

The funding of £4,986 is being used to provide music and ceramics classes that will run over a 16 week period.  The classes will support the ongoing work of the Cuan Mhuire Centre by utilising the arts as a tool to tackle some of the issues faced.

It is hoped that adults embarking on a personal journey of addiction rehabilitation from alcoholand gambling in Cuan Mhuire’s Newry centre will gain new skills in the arts, benefit from increased self-confidence and self-esteem and develop friendships through working together. 

Potter Eleanor Wheeler provides weekly ceramics workshops with users having the opportunity to create their own pottery pieces, while music classes are facilitated by musician Sheila Smyth and include singing and guitar lessons.

Sheila Smyth from the Right Key, an organisation that helps promote health and recovery through music and singing, said; “I have worked in Cuan Mhuire in the past and have seen first-hand the healing powers of music – it can make a breaking point into a turning point. An important part of recovery is improving peoples' image of themselves. They need to know that they have value as an individual and that they have a purpose. Music builds trust and, because of this, people feel safe to try new things and that is key to recovering from addiction.”

Sister Consillios from Cuan Mhuire , said; “We are delighted to have received funding from the Arts Council and know it is going to make a big difference in many people’s lives.  This 16 week project is challenging our participants to leave their comfort zones and to try new artistic approaches. We have just started the classes and already those involved are amazed at the on-going results, the new skills they are learning and confidence that they are building every week.”

Edel Murphy, Programme Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “The Arts Council’s aim is to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy and take part in the arts. It is heart-warming to see this project bringing Cuan Mhuire’s residents together and helping them on their journey of personal development and recovery through a range of quality arts-based activities. I hope that this award will assist in establishing arts as a core thread of this organisation’s wider work. The award is already making a real impact, utilising the organisation’s fantastic facilities, supporting their ethos of holistic rehabilitation and engaging professional artists and participants in guitar playing, song and ceramics.”

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