Brinnington Community Art Group (BCAG) caters for people from across Brinnington, Stockport, who want to discover the benefits of coming together over a mutual love of art.

The group provides a vital service to local people who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, a range of challenging circumstances in their lives. A peer support network and a safe environment for vulnerable people to meet and work together on therapeutic group activities is also provided on a weekly basis. Many of the group’s attendees are mixing with others for the first time in many months following episodes of depression. The group also caters for people of all ages and engages them in different ways.

One such person who has benefited greatly from the group is Rachel. Here’s her story…

“I moved to Stockport four years ago to look after my mother and father-in-law. The first year or so I had a job with the Department of Work and Pensions, but my father-in-law took ill and sadly passed away. My husband and I took on looking after his disabled mother full-time as she requires 24/7 care.

“I soon realised I had no friends in the area and began to feel very isolated. Then I found the art group, and I made new friends while doing something I love doing – crafting. With Forever Manchester’s help and funding our group is still going strong – stronger in fact as we have doubled in size and expanded to include the children’s group.

“We have also grown in confidence; a year ago we would not have thought of helping organise the Brinnington Art Festival, but this year we did. BCAG had a large part in organising the festival with art displays, workshops and a stall, as well as helping with the decorations and parade. A year ago we would not have thought our crafts were good enough to sell – this year (so far) we have attended four craft events to sell our goods and we have four more lined up.

“There are a lot of people helping us behind the scenes and each and every one of them helps us grow in confidence and skill.”