Charmaine, Arnold House’s shining star!


For two and half years, CM Artist Hanna has been running art sessions at Arnold House, Leonard Cheshire, a facility for people with profound physical disabilities. During that time she formed a strong bond with one resident, Charmaine, who’s sheer determination and strength of character never ceased to amaze her. Charmaine has cerebral palsy and is unable to move from the neck down. Despite her physical challenges, she is always enthusiastic and willing to give anything a go. 

When they first met, Hanna gently encouraged her to try holding a paintbrush in her mouth and experiment with mark-making, as she held out the paper for her to paint on. At the end of her first session she was thrilled with what she had achieved. Since then, Hanna has been delighted to see Charmaine’s confidence in her creative ability blossom. Each week she loves learning about different creative mediums and is always enthusiastic to try something new.  

tate exchange

Charmaine attended our recent workshop at the Tate Exchange and really got stuck in, painting feathers for a peacock sculpture and flowers for the installation. She couldn’t have been more excited to see some of her own creations on display at the Tate. The look of pure joy and happiness at what she had achieved at the end of the day was absolutely priceless! 

tate exchange
tate exchange
tate exchange

CM Artist Hanna commented; “Charmaine is such a vibrant, fun and happy person. She is like a shining star and always makes me feel incredibly humble.”

The Tate Exchange project took place from Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th May and was a huge success! Thank you again to all of the CM Artists and their clients that attended.

You can find our earlier Tate Exchange blog post here:

Competition Winning Artist for Learning Disability Week 2017


*Competition winner, Dele, being presented with his T-shirt printed with his artwork*

A talented resident from an East London residential home for adults with learning disabilities, won a local competition to create a spectacular piece of art to promote a Learning Disability Week Celebration Event in the London borough of Newham. The winning artist, Dele, created an abstract artwork in pastel, that was printed on T-shirts and presented to him at the launch party of the event at Stratford Circus Arts Centre on 29 June 2017.

Community Artist, Elaine Harper-Gay, who delivers art sessions at the small residential home where the young artist is a resident, spoke of how proud she was of his achievement and was thrilled to see him on stage to receive a T-shirt with his very own artwork printed on it. The compères of the stage show also wore the artwork on their T-shirts.

An exhibition of artwork in celebration of Learning Disability Week was on display at Stratford Circus from 16 June – 13 July 2017, where a total of four residents from the residential home also had their work included.

Elaine Harper-Gay has been delivering art sessions to the residential home for 18 months and seen the residents grow and develop throughout this period. The residents have found the art sessions incredibly beneficial and enjoy the variety of ways they are able to express themselves. Congratulations to Dele for winning the competition and the residents who exhibited their work. We’re looking forward to seeing what the residents create next in future art sessions.

learning disability week

learning disability week

learning disability week

Exhibition of artwork from the Learning Disabled community at Stratford Circus

Photography credit: Andrew Baker

Full of Life Fair 2016!


On the Friday 7th October 2016 we experienced our first Full of Life Fair at Twickenham Stadium in Twickenham, London and what a fantastic busy event it was! The Full of Life Fair is held at a venue every year and is run by Richmond Council to connect local over 55’s with over 75 local business in the area. The event was a roaring success with over 1200 residents and carers attending the annual event and James and Elaine we’re there on behalf of Creative Minds!

As part of the Creative Minds contribution to the event James and Elaine delivered a morning and afternoon Art Session to 30 participants with many more spectators walking around the table, chatting and watching the artists at work. The participants had a choice between British landscapes and flowers and the choice between using soft pastels or watercolour for their artwork.

Have a look at the wonderful artwork created…

full of life fairfull of life fair

full of life fair

full of life fair

full of life fair


full of life fair

full of life fair

full of life fair


Everyone who attended our sessions by the café thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were keen to attend Art Sessions in the local area. At present, we don’t currently deliver sessions to residents in the Richmond area but watch this space! In early 2017 we hope to be able to deliver regular sessions in the Richmond community with the help of local partners.

Hydon Hill get creative!


James has been been visiting Hydon Hill, a Leonard Cheshire Care Home on the edge of Godalming for nearly 2 years now, and in that time they have created some fantastic artwork and sculptures together. The residents whom mostly have physical impairments and handicaps absolutely love and look forward to the Art Sessions delivered by James.

“We like to explore as many different mediums, materials and ideas as possible” says James, “At Hydon Hill I am very lucky to have some amazing staff like Robbie to help support me and the residents to create lovely art”. In the time that James has been visiting Hydon Hill they have created a lot of art in the Art Sessions and have completed some spectacular art projects. The most recent art projects completed at Hydon Hill have been some Halloween sculptures and a large Christmas Tree advent calendar.

Leonard Cheshire kindly posted an article about Hydon Hill and their creative efforts on the staff intranet for all to see! Take a look…Hydon Hill Artwork Halloween ere it is….

Hydon Hill Artwork Christmas

“Its fantastic that the residents at Hydon Hill have been given some well deserved recognition” stated James. Well done to all residents and staff at Hydon Hill and James for this fantastic feature!

Thank you for reading.