VOLUNTEER BLOG: Debbie
I was suffering with anxiety and depression when I moved back to Liverpool. My older sister had just died and I was struggling to cope. I looked on the internet for some groups to get involved with and discovered SOLA.
I was invited to come in for a chat with Adele who is “head cook and bottle washer” in other words she runs all the projects at SOLA. I was made to feel very welcome and had a tour of the studio, there was lots of different art supplies and materials to look through and start me on my creative journey.
Gradually I began to rediscover my creativity and my confidence grew, I became more and more adventurous with my artwork and started to explore new ideas and ways of expressing myself. I started writing poetry and doing some quilling with paper. Through meeting other artists I gained lots of knowledge and enjoyed our trips out to visit the Tate Gallery and the William Brown Street art gallery, we had some lively discussions about some of the work on display.
I am now a volunteer at SOLA, I help out with their social media and create art for their RedBubble page. I am so glad I made that first step to come to the studio, it has changed my life and I have met a lot of new people from many different cultures and backgrounds. SOLA is an all inclusive project and meeting people from the refugee community helped me to understand some of the desperate and frightening situations they have had to face. I cannot comprehend what it must feel like to have to leave your home country and leave family and precious belongings behind. The people I’ve met inspired me to write some poetry, so I wrote ‘The Refugee’.
I now regularly produce artwork and share it with family and friends. Through my art I’m able to take time to relax, reflect and work though any problems I may be going though. The team at SOLA has supported me on my journey and I cannot thank them enough for the amazing work they do.