15th August 2017 by CVT Central
Local artist Mark Ashton (left) from Wollaston, has recently presented Dean Barnshaw of CVT (Camphill Village Trust) a painting, to celebrate the launch of their new Shared Lives Scheme.
Mark, who taught art for 33 years at a secondary school in Rowley Regis was involved in a serious traffic accident in 2011, which left him with life-threatening injuries. Unable to walk or talk and suffering from memory loss, Mark underwent a lengthy period of rehabilitation, in which his passion for art kept him going. After returning home, Mark started volunteering at CVT’s, 'Cockleshell Pottery Café' on Worcester Street, Stourbridge just off the ring road, helping customers to draw and paint their pottery. It was there that he bumped into Dean, who works in the charity’s offices above the café. Mark was asked to paint a large canvas with a theme based on Stourbridge and he duly obliged. Mark said “I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this painting and investigating the architecture and iconography that represent the town and local area. ‘The Cockleshell’ is a lovely café and I take a lot of satisfaction from helping out the young families and children with their painting.”
Dean adds “I knew Mark did some of his own work which he sells whilst assisting at the café, so I just wondered if he might be interested in creating a painting for our new office space. It definitely brightens up the place and I know Mark has spent many months in deciding what to paint, so we are very grateful. The Shared Lives Scheme has really started to take off and CVT are already in the process of recruiting 8 sets of carers in the Stourbridge area, who are wanting to welcome someone into their home and be part of their family life. We are planning to hold training at the end of September and are currently undertaking a number of assessments. We fully intend to be operating and offering arrangements to people referred by the local authority by the end of Autumn. If people are interested in finding out more about becoming paid carers with the scheme, then they should visit our website at: www.cvt.org.uk/sharedlives or just pop into the Cockleshell Café and pick up a leaflet.”