An art scheme providing free materials to help disadvantaged children, vulnerable adults and people with learning disabilities will soon have distributed 50,000 mandala colouring books in Kent and across the South East
Get Started Art was founded in Essex back in November 2022, but is now starting to support people throughout Kent, Suffolk, London, Oxford, and Scotland.
Initially funded by a £6,000 grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, the scheme originally supplied 4,000 colouring books and 10,000 colouring pencils to over 60 groups.
This included nine NHS hospitals, ten schools supporting children with special educational needs and 23 Alzheimer and dementia day care centres and homes, as well as a further 25 local charities and community groups.
Further funding from local businesses as well as support from other Masonic lodges and Centres throughout Essex and beyond, has seen the incentive escalate rapidly and has now contributed to the printing and distribution of 50,000 Art Therapy Books incl 20,000 mini versions of the mandala style books, which have been specifically designed for SEN Units in Primary Schools.
On Wednesday 30th November, Get Started Art visited both Darwent Valley Hospital in Dartford and Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury along with representatives of both West Kent and East Kent Freemasons, to donate over 1000 art Therapy books in just one day. Local Freemasons will soon be arranging further distribution to worthy causes throughout the County, engaging with the charities directly and actively seek out new ones.
Dee Neligan Head of Charity for East Kent Hospitals Charity commented “It was such a pleasure to welcome you all yesterday, thank you so very much again. The books will be extremely well received, and we are so grateful to you all.”
A spokesperson for the project said: ‘At a time when the awareness of mental health is so prevalent, both Freemasons and Get Started Art want to support mindfulness and anxiety relief by helping others to reduce stress by engaging in these Art Therapy Colouring Books.
The aim of this project is to donate as many as possible to those community groups that can benefit the most, as well as raising further public awareness of a problem that can affect anybody at any time.’