Home is where the ‘art’ is

March 3rd 2021

Artwork created by residents takes pride of place at new independent living scheme in Fingerpost, St Helens.

A visual celebration of St Helens heritage will be unveiled to new residents of Foundry Wharf extra care scheme in St Helens later this month.

The artworks, which are on permanent display were created by the former residents of nearby Parr Mount Court and were more than a year in the making.  Local artists and historians worked with the residents on the project which looked at the industries and people who have shaped St Helens.

The finished pieces will be displayed in the reception, bistro and communal areas, of the new £13m, 130-home,  purpose-built independent living complex.  The flagship scheme for over 55s is nearing completion and the art project has also heavily influenced the furniture and décor of the residents’ new home.  The colours from the project will be used to theme each floor of Foundry Wharf, allowing residents to find their bearings, plus the photos will allow them to enjoy memories from the past and share their history and stories with their families.

Project member and resident, Jean Cunningham said;

 “Seeing the artwork, we created being used for the decoration for the new scheme is going to be fantastic and I am looking forward to moving into our new home and settling in.”

The £3k project, funded by The St Helens Housing Association Trust, included three months of research and support from Chris Charles of Creative Arena, local historian Chris Coffee and Victoria Brokenshire from St Helens Archives. The residents also worked with a local men’s group.

The final artworks are inspired by the historical use of the land where Foundry Wharf now sits. Decorative metal panels with copper-infused glass by Bernie Hughes will go into lightboxes to divide the bistro and reception area. Six stunning Perspex screens, adorned with images by Chris Charles which depict the themes of home, industry, leisure, innovation, workplace and objects from the industrial heritage of St Helens.

Torus Foundation Health & Wellbeing Officer, Nikki Wilkinson, who has been working to see the project through to completion, added:

“The residents have been working on this art project since before the start of the pandemic and I can’t wait to witness their reactions when they see their artwork in place for the first time. The work the residents have created is amazing, it really reflects the local area and their memories. 

“I love working on these projects, as it has provided an opportunity for our residents to use their imagination, make connections and reminisce.  They offer our residents the chance to express themselves, learn a new skill (or return to an old one), and form a stronger sense of personal identity.

“The residents have loved the whole experience and will be so proud of what they have achieved when its installed into their new home. 

“It’s also exciting to be able to use their works as the basis of the design of Foundry Wharf and we hope that the art project will make Foundry Wharf feel more like their home and help create a more meaningful visual interest for residents, whilst helping them to settle in quicker.”

Foundry Wharf will welcome new residents from the end of March 2021 and provides people aged 55 and over with secure, modern and affordable one and two bedroom apartments.

Foundry Wharf is the latest development in Torus’s award-winning Extra Care portfolio, alongside The Maples in Kirkby and Harpers Green in nearby Warrington, which along with our other specialist housing for the over 55s are about creating communities where older people can enjoy sociable, fulfilling and healthy lives.

Foundry Wharf boasts a hairdressing & beauty salon and bistro both of which will be open to the local community when Covid-19 restrictions allow. Residents can also access exclusive facilities, including; a guest suite, spacious communal areas, laundry room, gardens, assisted bathroom and all apartments with level access wet rooms. 

Apartments at Foundry Wharf are available for affordable rent.  To find out more about renting an apartment with care and support please call 0800 678 1894 or email, applications are through the Under One Roof website.