A FALKLANDS veteran who discovered art was better than medication has opened an arts and crafts shop in Rawtenstall for Veterans In Communities .
The Haslingden-based charity, which helps serving and ex-service personnel and those from the police, fire and ambulance to return to Civvy Street, worked with Positive Start to convert the shop on Bury Road.
Arts and Crafts Co-ordinator Darren Horsnell discovered the therapeutic properties of art while he was recuperating at Combat Stress after serving in the Falklands Conflict.
He has been running art classes at VIC Centre in Bury Road and also, through the Creative Community Hub at Jubilee Court in Haslingden.
Several residents from Jubilee Court attended the shop’s opening on Saturday June 13.
Darren said: “This all stems from when I first started art therapy and I realised what art can do for you and how much therapy you can get out of it.
“It took me two years before I went along to art therapy and then when I did I couldn’t believe how it affected me.
“I would open up while I was painting and I started to talk about my experiences through my art, not verbal.
“Then I started getting people coming to me asking me for advice and it gave me a buzz. It is better than any medication.”
Darren, along with volunteers from the arts and crafts group at VIC, will be manning the shop. It is also planned to run workshops at the VIC Centre in the future.
The Positive Art Shop offers artist a wide range of arts and crafts materials and hand-made items including candles and salt dough models.
Paintings and drawings from the VIC art group are also on sale in original or print copies.
The shop was officially opened by the Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Marilyn Procter who said: “I think it is splendid. The art work for sale is of a really, really high quality. The time and effort people have put in here is fantastic.”
The shop will be open Thursdays to Saturdays 9am to 5pm and on Sundays from 10am to 2pm and stocks a wide range of arts and crafts items.
For more information call VIC on 01706 833180.