Artistic youngsters join forces with care home residents to brighten up safety centre


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Schoolchildren and care home residents are working hand in hand to produce a major new artwork at an award winning centre designed to keep children and young people safe.

It is being created for the DangerPoint life skills activity centre by pupils of Gwersyllt Primary School who have built a strong bond with residents at Pendine Park’s Bryn Bella in Wrexham.

The youngsters have visited the home every few weeks, interacting with residents via arts and crafts activities and building firm friendships.

Now, in the latest initiative, the children have been helping residents produce a multi-coloured array of handprints which will be turned into an eye-catching larger scale artwork to go on public exhibition.

Pendine Park artist in residence Sarah Edwards who has been leading the project said: “The idea is to create a stand-out artwork which will intertwine the handprints of young and old. It will represent how we are trying to build intergenerational links between our residents and the local community.

“Gwersyllt School is our closest primary school and having the pupils visit Bryn Bella has been a real joy.

“Our residents have become great friends with the pupils and it is a pleasure to see the children talking so freely to the residents, helping them with arts and crafts and being so kind and patient.”

A bumper selection of paints was brought out for the hand art project. Both children and residents couldn’t wait to cover their palms in different colours of paint before putting them down on art paper to produce a selection of unique prints.

Bryn Bella resident Tony Ithell was helped to create his handprint by Harry Jones, aged 11.

Tony said: “It’s been great. Harry is a star and we work well together.”

Izy Dillon, 11 and Maisie Roberts, 10, were hard at work assisting residents Christine Jones, Sara Berhe and Gladys Cross.

“It’s fun but also important for us to do this and make friends with the residents here. We can learn a lot from them,” said Izy.

Ewan Edwards, 11, who helped Noel Hughes with his art agreed, adding: “We all love to come here, there are so many interesting projects to get involved with.”

Bryn Bella resident Mike Davies who helped make thumbprint and fingerprint flowers and bumble bee shapes said he always enjoyed visits by the children.

He said: “It is so refreshing to talk to the children and hear their stories about what they have been doing in school.”

All the resulting prints will be collated together into a single impressive image.

Sarah said: “The finished handprint artwork will decorate the art room in DangerPoint in Talacre which Pendine Park is sponsoring via the Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT) which supports cultural and community initiatives across North Wales.”

A celebratory event will be held in DangerPoint to officially re-open the art room once all works have been completed.

DangerPoint was set up through a public and private partnership to improve the safety, health and wellbeing of people across North Wales from the age of five upwards and to encourage them to make positive life choices and not become involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Manager Julie Evans said: “We are very grateful to the residents at Pendine Park and the pupils from Gwersyllt School for all their efforts.

“In the future, we plan to use the room to host various Craft classes for older and younger visitors so we’re really pleased about the range of different ages working together.”

We are sure the final artwork will brighten up the CraftPoint room and make it an even more creative space.”

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