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Art isn’t just a passion for Jeremiah, it’s his therapy

5th August 2022

Finding out someone’s passion can be a gamechanger for both our staff and the people we support. For Jeremiah in Coventry, his world was suddenly filled with colour and possibilities when he realised his love for art.

We spoke to Coventry supported living manager Tracy to find out more.

She said: “Jeremiah is 29 and lives in a flat which he shares with his housemate Matthew. Jeremiah is very polite and quiet. He’s also very sociable when he has the right support, and loves going out and enjoying different day clubs.

“One particular class Jeremiah loves is art. Art is more than just a hobby for Jeremiah, it’s therapy. After working with Jeremiah for a number of years we’ve realised art is his outlet, it is how he expresses himself.

“His whole house is covered in Marvel characters. Jeremiah and Matthew both have a passion for Avengers and their flat is painted in all different colours with loads of Marvel-themed décor. Jeremiah loves adding to the collection by creating superhero canvases to decorate the flat, and Matthew loves it too.”

Jeremiah said: “I love art just because it’s fun, it’s relaxing. I like using bright colourful colours that makes me happy. I enjoy finding different ways of styles and to see which ones I enjoy doing.

“I joined a group called Ego which is in Coventry and that’s where I started to enjoy doing art and got into it. I enjoy meeting new people there and becoming friends with them.

“At first I didn’t want to try it because it was new. Then I realised I am good at art, and I got to make canvases of my choice and they were fun to make. I liked to sit with my friends, and it was always fun. It makes me feel proud and happy.”

Tracy said: “The difference our support makes to Jeremiah’s day to day life is stark. If Jeremiah didn’t have any support he wouldn’t go out at all. He’d stay in his bedroom playing games on his console all day. The team have encouraged Jeremiah to realise what he can enjoy outside of his home, and to find joy in other things. And they have done an incredible job in supporting him.

“It was one particular support worker Kayla who found out about the art class and suggested it as something Jeremiah would enjoy. It’s an incredible feeling when you help someone find out what their passion is, it’s always a bit of detective work as to what can make that person’s day.

“The group has had such a huge impact for Jeremiah. He can have bouts of depression, but after the class we always see such a difference in him. He’s always keen to show off what he has created, whether it’s a canvas or a picture, he loves the achievement of what he has done.

“Supporting someone who has mental health problems is a different skillset for my team. It’s about getting to know that person and finding out what works for them. For Jeremiah, he has to feel like he fully trusts someone before he’s willing to go out with them. He also prefers people who have a calm and patient nature to them, so he feels like he is in control of the situation, rather than being told what to do.

“Because of this, we know who he connects best with and those are the people who support him regularly. And now he loves going out, being active and expressing himself through his art. We have realised he is willing to try anything as long as he has the right support.”