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Three local veterans who after serving in the army turned to art to help them adapt to civilian life have got their artwork on display at the district council’s Civic Centre in Northallerton.

All three have spent time at ‘The Beacon’ in Catterick which offers supported housing to single veterans who are homeless and who have support needs.  It offers a warm, friendly safe supportive base and a beacon of hope to veterans of all ages as they make the transition into ‘Civvy Street’. The Beacon understands the complex needs specific to veterans, from post-traumatic stress disorder to substance or alcohol misuse.

Mark Gilbert who served in the Coldstream Guards and then the Royal Signals paints mainly vintage RAF bomber planes for pleasure whilst Ryan Hall who served with the Yorkshire Regiment before a civilian career in Security and Humanitarian Aid uses acrylic on cavass to capture his experiences in places such as Basra, Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine where he was taught and encouraged to paint by a well-known artist.  And Andy Murphy (pictured) who served for a short time in the British Army has turned his interest in photography into a career. After attending a 14 month course he has set himself up as a self-employed photographer and now feels confident to share his work.

 “The quality of the pieces is outstanding,” said Kate Staines, Development Officer (Arts and Recreation). 

“We were delighted when Riverside Care & Support who work with ‘Walking With The Wounded’ asked if we could display some of their veterans work.  They have experienced things that most of us cannot imagine and it gives them a chance to exhibit to a much wider audience. It also supports the district council’s commitment to The Armed Forces Covenant – a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.”

The exhibition is open from 8.45am – 5.15pm Monday to Thursday and from 8.45am – 4.45pm on Fridays and runs until mid April.

For further information contact Kate Staines on 01609 767203 or kate.staines@hambleton.gov.uk

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