A NEW art and crafts group which has been set up for people with mental health problems is aiming to set up a stall at York Market.

The group will meet from 7 to 9pm on Thursday nights in the new community room in Tesco Askham Bar, from September 11.

Set up by York resident Sarah-Jane Mackenzie along with her art teacher sister Helen, the aim is that the artwork and products created will be sold on a market stall in the refurbished York market once a month.

Sarah-Jane said: “I have had mental health difficulties myself and know how very isolating it can be. and Sometimes being able to talk about problems with other people who have been in similar situations is a great relief and source of comfort.

“Because the group is aimed at people with mental health problems (or people who have in the past experienced them) we won’t feel any need to pretend or put on an act or hide the details of problems we have had through fear of stigma or harsh judgement.

“Also, if there are people who have any social anxiety for other reasons also they will be able to feel perhaps a sense of relief that no one will be launching any particular expectations or assumptions their way.”

She said it is hoped that any small amount of money made in proceeds will go towards funding for more materials, but then a small amount may shared among the group.

Sarah-Jane said: “A life with mental health problems on benefits can be stagnant if you have very little incentive. I would like people to be able to prosper from the sense of renewed motivation and drive that such a venture may inspire.

“I’m hoping that the very activity of the art and craft will itself also prove therapeutic to people.”

She said the timing was also chosen as York Mind had said there was little on for people in the evenings.

There will be themed lessons, however people are welcome to bring their own projects or to suggest topics for the group to look at.

For more information, email sarahjane1918@hotmail.co.uk