We have never done anything like this before with the hostel


It is a cliché and so easily said but I find it hard to understand that a person will not have worked with clay (or other creative materials) before and that they won’t have walked up a track to a wood. Things that are so easily taken for granted were for the young people who visited us from St Basil’s new experiences. Their opportunities to leave the city are minimal.

One young woman, explained to me, whilst were sitting by the gallery carving into clay tiles, how living in a hostel can be overwhelming “It gets on top of people. I like living with the mums and babies because it cheers me up and I’ve got people to talk to. I’m eighteen now so I’m more grown up but when I first came into the hostel I found it really hard. I’ve been through such a lot in my life, people wouldn’t understand. Before (coming to St Basils) I didn’t have a voice - I tried to speak up about things but I people ignored me. I’ve been very low.”

You know that a project is meeting a need when you hear things like this. And during the course of the day, when we discovered wild flowers and wild garlic, introduced everyone to the horses, showed them Nolan’s paintings, taught them how to decorate tiles and throw pots; we responded to dozens of questions. The level of interest and enquiry was incredible.  The discussions were honest and intelligent and thought provoking.

St Basils will visit The Rodd again in a couple of weeks’ time.

Photo: a young family from St Basils sit with Nolan