Salvation Army homelessness centre ‘Gets Creative’ for BBC festival

published on 23 Mar 2018

BBC Get Creative Lee House

The residents of a Salvation Army residential centre in Warrington for people experiencing homelessness have created their own mixed media collage as part of the nationwide Get Creative Festival.

James Lee Lifehouse (hostel) in Howley, Warrington held two drop-in art sessions on 20 and 22 March for residents and non-residents from the local community, as part of the BBC’s week-long Get Creative festival.

Organised and run by local artist Debbie Lyon, the two workshops involved participants working together to create a large collaborative artwork that is now on display in the reception area of the Lifehouse.

Matthew Davenport, James Lee Lifehouse service manager said:

“This was such a positive project for our service users. I think it’s really important for everyone to find a creative outlet, for all sorts of reasons and working together on anything is good for building relationships and boosting individual self-esteem. Get Creative has helped our service users reconnect with the local community too and I hope removed some of the stigma associated with homelessness. 

“I’ve had so many great comments from everyone who took part, which is wonderful and I’m so grateful to Debbie Lyon for bringing her creative and organisational talents to James Lee House.” 

Creative artist, Debbie Lyon said:

“I’ve worked with lots of different groups over the years but it’s been especially rewarding meeting everyone here at James Lee House and seeing the amazing work that The Salvation Army does among people experiencing homelessness in Warrington. The finished artwork is aesthetically superb but with projects like this it’s not the outcome but the process that’s the most rewarding thing.

“The people at James Lee House have shown that despite popular belief they really do have so much to give back to our community. I hope they themselves realise the potential they have to achieve such great things and that, more importantly, they recognise they have the skills and talent to keep on going with their great work.”

The BBC’s Get Creative Festival runs from 17 to 25 March at hundreds of venues and organisations around the country. Visit the Get Creative website for more information.