At Monodraught we design, manufacture and install low-carbon and low-energy building solutions that promote healthy environments and wellbeing - from both a physical and mental health perspective. The promotion of community projects that support wellbeing is a key focus of our corporate social responsibility strategy.

We are proud of our relationship with Buckinghamshire Mind, having already run fund-raising activities and supported staff members to volunteer for the charity.  As a further demonstration of our commitment to the charity, we were delighted to recently sponsor the Bucks Mind Raw Art Gallery: Raw - an exhibition of visionary art and hidden talents.

The Bucks Mind Raw Art Group was set up to help nurture artistic talent and is a collection of creative people who come together to share artistic ideas, advice and guidance.  Those that would like to or are able can attend a weekly open session on a Thursday in High Wycombe.

The objective of this exhibition was to increase awareness of mental health issues and to nurture the talent of possibly excluded members of society by helping individuals explore ways and means of expression in a way that is supportive an unpressured.  The event was a huge success, raising over £2,400 of which £1,100 went to Buckinghamshire Mind.

Spotlight on artist Susan Elizabeth Smith
Whilst we were able to sponsor the event and enable the money raised to go directly to the artists and Bucks Mind we were also delighted to buy our own piece of art which now has pride of place at our office entrance.

We welcomed the artist Susan Elizabeth Smith to the office and discussed her experiences with Bucks Mind.  Sue’s work is very striking and modern, and every piece features an eye and lips.  These represent her grand-children who provide inspiration for her art as a reflection of family life.  Sue is self-taught and uses acrylics, Indian ink and “traditional” ink.  At the RAW Art Gallery we were able to see several pieces of her work, as well as a mannequin she was working on which used the same style and was really striking.

Sue came back to art from a childhood interest as a form of therapy for her own mental health condition.  She had been struggling with anxiety and depression following an earlier trauma.  Sue started by attending a number of art groups in the area on the recommendation of a counsellor and joined the Apollo Art group around 2 years ago.  She has now been able to arrive at a situation where she has gone from a member of the group to a volunteer art teacher at the Thursday “Unshackled” art group. 

Sue said “The great thing about the art group is that we no longer meet to talk about our mental health and the challenges we are facing but to focus on the artwork that we are producing.”

On visiting the Monodraught office Sue commented on the link between Monodraught and Bucks Mind and the art group in particularly “Your natural light products can help improve mental health and natural light can have a great impact on our art work also”  We would like to take this opportunity to wish Sue well in her future projects.

Buckinghamshire Mind is an independent local charity working to support and represent people with mental health needs in the local community. The organisation does this through providing high quality services including activity groups and peer support, older peoples’ services, befriending, employment support and counselling and programmes to prevent social isolation.  To learn more about Buckinghamshire Mind and the support services they offer click here.

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