"It helps to boost my confidence. I'm learning a trade. It makes me meet and communicate with people from different backgrounds, which I find inspirational. It's a transferable skill.
A lot of support is needed in order for the continuation of the project which I think is under-rated. It needs a lot more exposure and more community-based projects which could help to encourage
other communities to share an interest and engage. To promote the team effot and maybe attract other organisations who may be willing to give a donation of any size to go towards the ongoing development of the project which would be throughly appreciated.
Thanks for the support, don't hesitate to donate!"
"It's something that I've never done before, a totally new experience, using skills that you won't find in any other project. It's like art. It's personalised, everyone can tell that I made it because I have my own style. I get on with everyone there and we have mutual respect.
I like the coffee, biscuits, and coffee-mate too!"
Hackney Mosaic Project has profoundly changed my life. When I first joined the group I was severely unwell with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and struggling to stop over-using cannabis. The project gave me a constructive way to use my time creatively, doing something which contributes positively to my local community.
This was a huge boost to my (extremely low) self-esteem and gave a structure to my days which I sorely needed. The non-judgmental acceptance and encouragement which Tessa and members of the group offered helped me feel like a valid human being for the first time in many years.
I continue to attend and to reap numerous benefits from my involvement.
This project brings people together, to work and create together for the common good in magical and unique ways. I am very proud to be a part of it.
"It's good for me because there's no set time so I can come when I am able to, and it's very close to where I live. It's increased my creativity and being in a group is good, it stops me getting bored.
Being active is good for my recovery and so is being productive.
My work is on display in the library and that feels really good. I regularly go to the library and am always pleased to see it there. I think other people enjoy seeing it too.
Being in the group keeps me away from alcohol and helps with my anxiety.
I've had support with things outside the project, such as running the marathon, from the group. We share different talents and experiences. It's great for me because I don't have family around.
Having been attending for a year now I'm able to help others, such as newcomers, which is nice.
We have a great teacher in Tess.
It's like a big family of people with all different backgrounds and we all learn from and share information/advice with each other.
Lots of brains working together instead of just individually on our own."
"It gives me a sense of purpose, doing my bit for the community.
It gets me out of bed in the morning and gives my life purpose.
I cut tiles at home for the group, and so whereas before I'd be drinking alcohol now I am cutting tiles.
It helped me rejoin society and gain social inclusion because before I was excluding myself, but now I'm getting back in, via this group.
It is giving me a sense of achievement, starting something and seeing it through to completion, and then seeing the end product. It has made me ambitious! I'd like to see every London borough have a piece of work from the group."
"It gives me a positive reason to get up in the morning, and something to look forward to. It's nice to come together with people, socialise, have cups of tea and bisquites and plenty of laughs. It cheers me up every time.
Besides, I like being creative and it's very calming. I also enjoy that we work with the community and for the community, and everyone has something nice to look at when we have finished and installed our next piece of mosaic art work.
I am mobility disabled, but I feel totally accepted within this group, because everyone here has something they are dealing with."
John (Friedman III):
"I was introduced to the Hackney Mosaic Project when I attended the day group at Lifeline. During my recovery I soon realised that art was going to be an important part of how I would learn to come to
terms with myself again and that the mosaics project could be a very therapeutic extension of my own personal artistic endeavours and an excellent way of giving something back to the community at large.
The project became even more important to me when we moved to Hackney Down as I was born just around the corner, at the Mothers' Hospital in Lower Clapton Road. My parents and grandparents are
all from Hackney too.
I am very proud of the large project we completed in the children's playground on Hackney Downs itself and of all the new work we are now undertaking, and how our work improves the local environment
for everybody else to enjoy.
I hope that the Hackney Mosaic Project continues for many years, and that other people become part of the project and find the inner peace which participation can bring."
"It's helped my life a great deal, and got me back in touch with some old friends from the local community. It has eased my anxiety and is something to look forward to. Gives me somewhere to go and be with people instead of being reclusive.
I have been having psychological tests to see how they can help me and they suggested meaningful activities, which this fits perfectly. They think this will help me a great deal.
It's a great group and has made me see that problems are universal and that it helps to share.
I came here for 5 weeks before I actually made the move to join in!"