Art Competition Shines A Light On Friendship

As part of this year’s national Learning Disability Week local people took part in an art competition with the theme of friendship.

The competition was launched in April with entries due in for the end of the national awareness week in May.  Individuals and groups of adults who use the local Intellectual Disability Service took up the exciting challenge to produce twenty nine submissions.

The theme for the competition, friendship, was one of seven for each day of this year’s Learning Disability Week, the others being sex, challenges, family, romance, social life and self care.

It was July before three winners from the twenty nine entries could be presented with their prizes, having waited for an ease with restrictions to allow them to meet with the judging panel and the Intellectual Disabilities Team.

Artist and author Mary Carberry, and Lesley Bryce, then non-executive for NHS Dumfries and Galloway Board (vice chair since 1st September), were delighted to be involved with the competition.  They took time to enjoy each entry and select the winners, then to present them with a book created by Mary alongside a trophy at the prize giving event.  Each of the winners attended the event with a family member and chatted with the judges and Intellectual Disability Team over refreshments before being presented with their prize.  Those who created the other 26 entries were sent a certificate for their achievement and a thank you for their entries.

Sharon Young, Manager for NHS D&G Intellectual Disability Service, said:

“We are delighted the competition was a success.  Participants accomplished individual and group pieces and enjoyed the process from start to finish when they all received a certificate or prize.
“We decided on the theme of ‘friendship’ following a really hard year for the people we work with, some of whom had been feeling very isolated due to the pandemic the restrictions placed on activities and social groups.
“We are so proud of everyone who participated in the competition, and all of the people throughout the region who use our service as they have coped so well with restrictions during the pandemic.
“A big thank you to our judges for their involvement with the competition and for the lovely book that was created for the prizes.”

Marsali Caig, chair of the NHS D&G Arts Strategy Delivery Group and non-executive for NHS D&G Board, said:

“Arts can inspire and connect people in all sorts of circumstances and ways. This competition, with its theme of friendship, reflects how important people and our communities are to each other, and it’s fantastic to see the service inspiring people in this way.
“Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who took part.”