Avanti West Coast has announced that they have donated £40,000 to charity to help promote mental wellbeing in Hamilton.
The station will see a unique project deliver an interactive art installation with input from the local Lanarkshire community being supported with their mental wellbeing.
The project is called ‘Hope in Hamilton’ and will focus on producing the piece of interactive art, which is an idea based on the work of Rail 74 Community Rail Partnership. The charity delivers community benefits via the Rutherglen to Hamilton Central line, using inspiring projects to support mental health.
Avanti West Coast got behind the initiative using their Community Rail Project Fund and have also joined forces with fellow rail operators ScotRail and CrossCountry to bring ‘Hope in Hamilton’ to life.
The Samaritans will also support the project with a programme of workshops for the local community running over eight months. Patients from NHS Beckford Lodge and those being supported by Lanarkshire Action for Mental Health, and also Police Scotland Youth volunteers will be engaged in designing the art installation.
The inspirational sculptor and environmental artist Rob Mullholland of the Arcadia Sculpture Centre in Loch Lomond has been appointed to focus the ideas and give the piece life before its final installation on the platform in 2022.
Speaking of his involvement, Rob said: “I’m delighted to be part of such an interesting project that focuses on mental wellbeing and look forward to translating the ideas of various groups and individuals into a contemporary artwork to be enjoyed by the community and visitors to Hamilton.”
Suzie McCheyne, Development support at Rail 74 CRP, said: “We are extremely excited and want to bring a real sense of hope and pride to the area and provide an appealing, interactive art piece at Hamilton Central Station collaborating with the local community as a legacy of cohesion and providing real voices and input alongside a greater awareness of local and national support services relating to mental health wellbeing for our communities in times of need.”
Joanna Buckley, Community Manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re proud to be playing our part in bringing the community of Hamilton together to create artwork that champions the town and its people, while raising awareness of mental wellbeing.
“Through our work with Samaritans we know the importance of seeking help if you’re struggling. We hope this project will make a difference by signposting people to support available and reminding them they’re not alone, which is more vital than ever as we face the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
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