Sussex charity raises awareness for mental health with ‘pop up’ exhibition

A local mental health and housing organisation, has launched a crowdfunding campaign in Burgess Hill.

Sussex Oakleaf is fundraising to open a ‘pop up’ art exhibition for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Two of the charitys peer mentors, Alison McMullan and Rose Mtonga

Two of the charitys peer mentors, Alison McMullan and Rose Mtonga

Sussex Oakleaf’s marketing and communications officer, Dominic Goodeve, said: “Art and creativity have long been associated with improved mental health and we are excited to be able to offer opportunities for those affected by mental health to become involved in their community.”

Throughout the week of March 13-19, the charity will be taking over an empty shop front in the town centre and creating a ’pop up’ public space filled with art, information, activities and inspirational stories of mental health recovery.

A target of £2,505 has been set which must be raised in full by March 31.

Its aim is to bring new life, colour, vitality and a sense of community to a town centre currently undergoing redevelopment.

The art exhibition will provide a platform for people affected by mental health to gain confidence and challenge their own as well as other people’s perception of their potential.

One of peer mentors, Rose Mtonga said: “‘I was very unwell, completely secluded in my own little world.

“I was guided towards Sussex Oakleaf who worked with me to get me out of my home. I progressed further and further, attended groups and learnt coping strategies.”

Sussex Oakleaf will be celebrating 25 years of supporting people with mental health needs in May.

The staff will be marking the occasion by acknowledging the service they provide which enables people, including people at risk of homelessness as a result of their mental health to fulfil their potential and to live their lives as independently as possible.

The charity say it is easy to donate and Sussex Oakleaf will not take any funds from bank accounts until the campaign has ended and if the full amount has been raised.

To pledge your support visit www.spacehive.com/sussexoakleaf