A hammer may not sound inspirational but when you learn the meaning behind it, it makes your heart sing.
For one woman, the gift of a hammer proved a turning point in her young life.
“I grew up in a household whereby my dad said girls should learn how to cook and clean and boys need to know how to fix things,” she said.
“My grandad had other ideas. He taught me to be a mechanic with my first beat-up Mini, showed me how to plant potatoes and gave me a hammer to fix things.”
Her story is just one of the inspirational pieces in a new exhibition developed by the Make Your Mark arts and health programme.
The project was funded by Heads On, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, giving 50 people with mental health challenges and staff the opportunity to work with artist Annis Joslin.
The thought-provoking workshops started with the question ‘what inspires you’ and has culminated in an exhibition, called What Makes Your Heart Sing?, which is on show at Worthing Leisure Centre, in Shaftesbury Avenue, until the end of January.
Sally Honey, health and wellbeing manager at South Downs Leisure, said: “The exhibition gives the community the chance to break down the unnecessary stigmas of mental health and encourages more open conversation about the subject.”
The exhibition was launched during Worthing Mental Health Week and entry is free.
During the workshops, people were asked to take along an object and tell everyone a bit about it.
The chosen items included flowers, pebbles, oak leaves, running shoes, an old book, drawings, a baby’s shoe, medal, toy car, vintage postcard, fossil, wooden spoon, poem and wet suit.
Sally added: “We invite you along to explore the exhibition, the stories behind it and to ask yourself what makes your heart sing.
“Maybe you can find someone to talk to about the object you would choose. By talking about things that are important to us, we feel more connected with other people and learn more about ourselves and each other.”