Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex

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Essex Masons and Get Started Art support exceptional initiative

Volunteer Linda Roy with no experience praised for art classes at community centre.

Linda Roy, has never taught art and only took it up as a hobby one year ago but last month she had the courage to ask the charity she volunteers for if she could deliver art classes for beginners to help them learn new skills. Over the last four weeks Linda has worked hard to make sure her art teaching project gets off to a good start by fundraising and reaching out to businesses and charities for materials.

Both the Essex Freemasons and ‘Get Started Art’, a community interest company based in Thurrock, were quick to respond to her call for support as well as a local branch of Tesco, The Works and The Seasons Art Class franchise. By working together, the Essex Freemasons and Get Started Art have already made a considerable impact throughout the UK by promoting the benefits of Art as a therapy from the Highlands of Scotland to the Kent Coast.

In just one year they have donated over 55,000 large and small colouring books to homes and day centres for Alzheimer and dementia sufferers, people with neurological needs, stroke survivors and senior wards in hospitals. The small version was created specifically for special educational needs (SEN) units for schools and community groups working with vulnerable young people and is very much in demand.

Linda volunteers for 3FOOD4U community surplus hubs in the Waltham Abbey and Loughton area which offer free groceries, clothes and essentials without assessment or referral to anyone that needs it. With over 300 volunteers they have supported over 12,000 vulnerable people in the local community.  The Charity held its first Art classes last week and Pesh Kapasiwala, the Chair of Trustees, said “We’re very proud of Linda and want to say a huge to everyone who donated”

Davina Barton of Get Started Art said “It was a great pleasure to deliver the much-needed materials to Linda so that she could start her first art class.” Everyone who attended had a great time. Both Get Started Art and all the Essex Freemasons who have supported us are delighted to see what Linda has achieved. It is an amazing initiative which helps others enjoy the therapy of art and whilst learning new skills.


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