Students bring a splash of colour to Billingham care home

It’s all sunshine ahead for residents enjoying the outlook from their window of a Billingham care home.

Young creatives helped transform a plain brick wall into something a little more colourful.

Billingham care home - 5

Speaking on behalf of the team at Green Lodge Care Home, administrator Mandy Powers said: “We were looking to have a mural created to brighten the view for residents whose rooms look out onto the carpark.

“Keen to make links in the community we reached out to The Skills Academy, where the students were happy to lend a hand.”

The Skills Academy in Billingham offers introductory and level 1 courses for those aged 14 to 18 in a range of subjects including art and design, construction, health and social care, hair and beauty.

Alternative provision manager, Tracey Laycock, said: “This project offered the ideal opportunity for our construction and art and design students to showcase their skills while also giving something back to the community.”

As the construction students from The Skills Academy prepped the brick surface with an undercoat, the art and design team came up with ideas for the mural.

The end result incorporated landmarks from the surrounding area including the Forum, The Globe, Roseberry Topping and a bit further afield with the Angel of the North.

With Green Lodge specialising in residential and dementia care, Mandy said: “This was very much a whole team effort, and it was fantastic for our residents to look out and see the work underway.

“It was so nice for them to be able to speak to the young people and watch them at work, particularly those residents who don’t get a lot of visitors.”

And, for those whose rooms look out onto the carpark, she added: “They are so excited to now have something nicer to look out on to than the plain brick wall. The mural is already making a massive difference.”

Skills student Lucy, 19, from Billingham, said: “I had a great time painting the mural and knowing it will now help put smiles on people’s faces. I enjoyed talking to the staff and residents about the project.”

Heidi, 16, of Hartlepool added: “Painting the mural was brilliant! It was great to experience the joy and positive effect that art can create first-hand with the residents and to have a go at painting something so different to a piece of paper or a canvas!”

While Blu, 18, also from Hartlepool, said: “I enjoyed the teamwork and helping others!”

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