We had the brilliant Jade Dodd working with us for many months, getting stuck into all facets of the Netpark Wellbeing Project. She’s off to new exciting climes following her experience here, and she’ll be sorely missed. GOOD LUCK, JADE!

Here’s a little about her time here. The answers made us feel all warm & fuzzy.


Why did you decide to come to Metal?

I wanted to volunteer locally and I have always enjoyed and had an interest in art. It also gave me an opportunity to meet others and give back to the community. When I initially heard about Metal and how they use technology and tablets to produce artwork I was intrigued and decided to volunteer my time.

What do you think you will use in the future?

Having the ability to adapt myself to different situations.  If an idea is not working being able to think out of the box to come to a different conclusion/idea.

How would you describe Metal to people who have never heard of it?

A little gem tucked away in the green surroundings of Chalkwell Park. Alongside exhibitions and events, Metal’s aim is to help the local community of Southend and South Essex engage in art and be able to express themselves. Metal’s Art School is a warm and welcoming environment where anyone is welcome regardless of their artistic ability a place for free thinking and letting your imagination run wild.

What have you been up to whilst here?

I volunteer on a Tuesday, I do the morning and afternoon session. The morning session is for individuals with Dementia and the afternoon session is for people with learning disabilities. I help and encourage group members with their artwork and assist them to find inspiration normally by using the tablet to conjure up ideas. Mostly I work 1:1 with individuals who benefit from more individual support guiding them to create a finished piece of work.

Tell us in your own words what Netpark and the Wellbeing Project is and why you think it’s important?

Using digital art as a platform to enhance and improve day to day living. For anyone who wants to improve their mental wellbeing. Using Netpark with groups that may not have access to these resources themselves. It also helps individuals to think about what they are doing and realise how simple it is to create artwork, whilst having fun in a safe environment away from the stresses of daily life.

Is there anything you would have liked to do that you didn’t get a chance to do?

I am aware that the Dementia group created a garden of remembrance story. I would have liked to have seen how the stories featured in Netpark are created.