North east London has a new (BIG) piece of art and it's very special! You'll see it on the corner of Vicarage Road in Leyton in Waltham Forest. It’s a fabulous new mural with a beautiful image of a pair of hands, gently tending peppers growing in a garden. The ring on the fingers draws the light and shimmers as though it's popping out of the wall in 3D.
So where has this amazing art come from and what’s it all about? Well, the story of its creation links to all the efforts of North East London Health and Care Partnership Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) Allied Health Professionals and their drive to develop and widen awareness of health and care careers for our local communities.
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are art therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, osteopaths, prosthetists and orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, diagnostic radiographers, therapeutic radiographers, speech and language therapists. They can be found working across all our health and care services in north east London.
“This beautiful image is taken directly from a Gardening for Health group project for local Bengali women in Tower Hamlets” explained Dr Sharen Hayre, a clinical psychologist in Tower Hamlets who led and developed the gardening project with AHP colleagues. Sharen described the project as: “a group for women who experience chronic pain within the wider contexts of reduced mobility, long term physical health conditions and related emotional distress.
“The gardening project provides an integrated therapies model to re-engage women with their abilities and strengths by incorporating Psychology, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. It is co-facilitated with Care Navigation and Rehab and Peer Support Workers.
“By allowing women to connect with nature and be amongst other women who have similar experiences the project supports improvements in both physical and emotional/mental health wellbeing.”
Council Chair for AHPs at the North East London Health and Care Partnership Stephen Sandford said:
“We wanted to showcase the potential of AHPs in the local area and when we got the offer of a piece of new art created by Woodstreet Walls street art collective, we thought what a brilliant way to both brighten up the local community, but also have a focus for conversation around health and care careers. The purple and pink ring on the finger of the hands is actually the national logo for AHPs so the art is a brilliant talking point to start discussion on who they are and what they do!"
With the help of Care City, a non-profit community interest company based in east London, over 40 BAME AHP Career Ambassadors are now working directly with local schools and colleges to inspire young people across north east London into AHP careers.
The ambassadors provide a range of support including mentoring for young people and talks in schools sharing all the possibilities for potential careers ahead.
Care City's Development & Education Programme Manager Julia Prudhoe said:
"We've had such great support from our AHP Career Ambassadors who, through sharing insights into their roles and the career pathways they have taken, have been able to inspire and educate young people to consider roles in the health and social care sector. Feedback from the Ambassadors show us that they are enjoying the opportunity to promote work that they love and the wealth of opportunities there are locally!"
Click on the link to find out more about a career as an AHP and the work that the North East London AHP Career Ambassadors do.