A group of disabled artists recently added a splash of colour to the University with some eye-catching displays of their work. Members of Scope's Geneva Road day centre in Kingston staged an exhibition with a sunshine theme at the University's Penrhyn Road campus as part of National Inclusion Week. Called Summertime, the show featured a selection of photography, paintings and sculpture.
The charity, which supports clients with a range of physical disabilities and learning difficulties, completed the works with financial support from the London Arts Council and The North Surrey Group Scope fund. The University's Equal Opportunities Officer, Jan Stow, who is also a director of The North Surrey Scope Group, said the imaginative art was an ideal way to capture staff and students' attention. "This was the first time members from the Geneva Road centre had seen their work on display in a public place," Jan said. "It was a big boost for them to have their talents praised by people passing by."
Scope member Jim Costello was thrilled to see his creations on show. "The University is a big organisation so a lot of people have now seen what we can do," he said. "This project has definitely been one of the highlights of my time at Geneva Road."
The centre, which now has 43 members, was set up in 1963. Clients can study for qualifications, learn new languages, take technology classes and even get help finding paid work in the area. Manager Julie Haggarty believes the centre not only provides a place for disabled people to interact socially but also offers them the opportunity to build their personal skills. "The University exhibition was a great way to show our members that their work is of real value," she said. "Being treated equally within the community is an essential part of their development."
Bridge - The Kingston University magazine