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People using local mental health services also contributed a series of landscape photographs and words from poems and reflections on the subject of ‘safe places’. These were created as part of a project ‘A Place of Safety’ exploring the idea of a place of safety and what that means for different people.
Helen Wilson, MPFT Arts for Health project lead said “The displays offer positive messages of recovery and mental wellbeing as well as creating attractive and enjoyable spaces. Railway stations are places where many of us wait and it has been shown that looking at photographs of natural scenes has a similar positive impact on people’s wellbeing to being there”.
Cllr Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council added “The Tamworth Station Artwork Project is an excellent example of partnership working and getting local communities involved. This simple project aims to transform the feel of the station to make it a more pleasant and hopeful place to be”.
Vicky Cropper, head of stakeholder and community for London Northwestern Railway, said: “We are committed to making our stations as accessible and welcoming as possible and this innovative project has our full support. Our £1 billion investment includes more, modern, trains, better stations and work to improve access to our network. The message is clear - everyone is welcome to travel on our railway.”
Richard Godwin, joint suicide prevention co-ordinator for Network Rail’s North West and Central Region and West Midlands Trains, said: “The stunning photographs, wording, artwork and messages created as part of this rewarding community project have made a real difference to both the artists who took part and now the passengers at Tamworth station who can enjoy them. Network Rail is proud to have funded this project in conjunction with West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway and CrossCountry Trains. We hope more projects of this kind can be replicated to improve both the journey experience and the wellbeing of passengers elsewhere in the country.”