Diamond Jubilee Artwork Unveiled

An artwork depicting the history of Watford Mencap, in celebration of our Diamond Jubilee last year, has been unveiled at the offices in Rickmansworth.

The High Street offices were bursting at the seams as nearly 100 members, supporters, staff and volunteers gathered for the event.

Guests of honour included Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, Hertsmere Mayor Cllr Peter Knell and Chairman of Three Rivers District Council, Cllr Chris Whately-Smith. Helping with the unveiling were a young member of Watford Mencap’s Afterschool Club and a resident of the charity’s Chorleywood home, Hilda Yardley.

It was the culmination of months of work involving Watford Grammar School for Girls, their resident artist, Sian Fenwick and some of the people who use the charity’s services, as well as volunteers. The school was represented at the event by Deputy Head Julie Richards who said: “It has been a privilege to work with Watford Mencap. Everyone involved learned a lot from the experience. It is a great partnership.”

Last year, the school and the South West Herts Strategic Area Partnership Group secured funding for the massive artwork which now hangs in the office’s entrance hall. It takes the form of a triptych: `1951’, ‘2011’ and ‘Hopes and Dreams’.                                          

Watford Grammar School for Girls is a Visual Arts Specialist College, and has worked with Watford Mencap for the past ten years on art and craft activities with Watford Mencap’s Learning and Leisure members and volunteers.

Part of the artwork, entitled “Hopes and Dreams” depicts dozens of butterflies, and on each butterfly people were invited to write their hopes for the future. One member, Adrien O’Brien, said: “I really enjoyed working on the butterflies and I wrote that I wanted more cooking and football.”

Once the three civic guests had unveiled the artwork, Julie Richards and Watford Mencap Director Jane Pattinson cut a celebratory cake made by local volunteer, Hazel Carmichael, who has 3 daughters at the school.

Posted on Monday, 14th May 2012