23rd August 2018: A new workshop space to promote the health and wellbeing of men has been given a burst of colour thanks to the help of a local artist.

Teamwork Trust – a Northamptonshire charity which supports adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities – built a ‘Men’s Shed’ at the Wellingborough centre and commissioned Northamptonshire graffiti artist, Squidge to help design and paint the space as part of a member-led project.

Working closely with the charity’s members, Squidge – who also works for Groundwork Northamptonshire, providing services for young and disabled people – helped them develop striking patterns and messages to celebrate the space and make the area stand out. He also led a fun painting session where he showed members how to paint their designs.

Vickie Bell, Head of Learning & Development, Teamwork Trust said: “Men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women so our idea to build a Men’s Shed at Wellingborough is part of a national movement to create more community spaces nationwide where men can come together to pursue practical interests.

“Squidge has been absolutely amazing with our members and they have had such fun working with him on this project. They were very much involved in deciding what messages would be written on the walls and the colour scheme. Squidge helped give them ideas and we can’t thank him enough for all his help and advice. We all think the finished result looks incredible.”

Squidge is well-known for his work with people with personal issues, disabilities and mental health difficulties. Having overcome many personal challenges himself, he is passionate about sharing his love of graffiti as a way to help others. He said: “I think the idea to create a community space for men to unite is excellent so I was delighted to work with Teamwork Trust to decorate it. Art is my therapy and has helped me overcome my own traumas over the years. I find that people with disabilities will relate very quickly to my work and the members here have been no exception. They were energetic and engaged and really started to express themselves which is great to see. We worked as a team and are all so pleased with how it turned out.”

This project was made possible by funding from Co-op’s Local community fund.