Four local young men have been working hard to produce artwork on the theme of shoes, to display at the new Hop, Skip and Jump service for young people with disabilities.
David, Connor and Dylan, all aged 18, and Lewis, aged 17, are creating giant Doc Marten boot sculptures and a skipping rope filled with colourful printed shoe images, together with artists at Pye Studios in Hindley.
The young men got involved in the project as part of their rehabilitation orders and are working with staff from Wigan Council’s Youth Offending Team to help give something back to their local community.
But they have discovered that there are also benefits for themselves too.
Lewis has been involved in creating artwork at the studio for the past six months. He said,
‘I wouldn’t normally have done artwork but I’ve found it de-stresses me and helps to calm me down. It takes my mind off other things when I’m working on something and it’s good how you can create something out of nothing.’
Connor, who has also joined other art groups since getting involved in the project, added,
‘I’d never done artwork before but this is the best I’ve ever done. I’m really happy with the result.’
Local artist Beth, who manages Pye Studios, added,
‘We got the idea of working with shoes and skipping ropes to fit in with the Hop, Skip and Jump name. It’s great to be able to provide a creative outlet for people who might not normally think about doing arts and crafts. The young people have been excellent and are working really hard.’
Hop, Skip and Jump is based next to Wigan Youth Zone and offers youth clubs for children and young people for disabilities www.hopskipandjump.org.uk
Other projects local young people have been involved in as part of their reparation orders include maintaining the garden spaces at the Today Community Church in Wigan and the Life Centre in Leigh, environmental work at Amberswood nature reserve in Hindley and raising money for local charity, Embrace.
A rehabilitation order can be imposed on young people aged 18 or under, if they have committed a criminal offence. Alongside giving something back to their community, young people are expected to work with the Youth Offending Team to consider their behaviour and come up with a plan for the future to help them avoid getting into trouble again.