Iwona was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in 2014.  She suffered a breakdown and had to leave work and hit rock bottom.  Fortunately she sought help and support and became determined to turn things around for herself.   She had both a passion and a talent for art and so when someone gave her a leaflet about a Foundation Course in Art Psychotherapy at Roehampton University. She could see an opportunity to channel her art whilst gaining a better understanding of her own condition.  But without the means to support herself financially, she soon became deflated.

Bedford and Luton Employment Specialists (formerly Empowa), suggested she contact The Harpur Trust to apply for funding.  “I went for an interview, presented my art, told my story and proved how much I love art and how much it means to me.  I also explained how the support I received from many professionals during my recovery had inspired me to think about my future.  What better way to help others than to combine my interest in mental health and my interest in people and art as a career”.

Iwona said ‘for me personally, it helped to see the differences in the ways people work and communicate and to understand how much depends on first impressions.  I am bringing home more and more information and understanding of how art and therapy can help in so many ways.  It provided me with the opportunity to do research, to think about my future, to develop new skills and new dreams.  And finally, it made me certain of what I want to do and who I am”.

Each year The Harpur Trust gives a small number of grants to individuals living in Bedford Borough, who are on low income and are looking to return to work or have a career change.  If you think you might benefit from a grant and would like to check your eligibility to apply, please visit:  http://www.harpurtrust.org.uk/grants/grants-to-individuals/