On Tuesday the 9th of May 2017, Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor and Deputy Mayor Councillor Toni Letts joined Studio Upstairs South London to mark its 1st birthday. In his speech the Mayor congratulated Studio Upstairs for its wonderful work over the past year. Speaking of his pride in the project, he shared his own personal experience of mental health and voiced his support:
‘The work of Studio Upstairs and other Croydon Mental Health Care Services is absolutely vital, and the more we can reach out to those who suffer with their mental health the better’
In its first year the South London Studio has supported 16 Members to develop their artistic practice and improve their well-being, 3 of which are now well enough to return to work. One member explains the benefits of the studio:
‘The studio has given me purpose in life and the freedom to express myself creatively without limits.The staff are fantastic and I feel safe. I want to stay well and Studio Upstairs is helping me to achieve this’
Since it’s inauguration in 2016, the South London studio and gallery has welcomed over 2000 visitors through its doors, encouraging people from all backgrounds to participate in the arts through workshops, exhibitions and gallery nights.