Aspiring Newport artist up for award

South Wales Argus: Night of honour nominee Amy Mullen (1005313) Night of honour nominee Amy Mullen (1005313)

AN ASPIRING artist has been recognised for going above and beyond in her work with young people.

Amy Mullen, 20, from Cwmbran, has been nominated for the Above and Beyond Newport Night Of Honour Award for her series of art workshops throughout Gwent to help young people aged 11 to 25 to tackle depression.

The Art Therapy student at the University of South Wales, suffered from the illness herself during her teens and has since helped many sufferers of mental health through a documentary called Creative Content, Express Yourself Through Positive Mental Health workshops and work with local community groups.

Now her dedication to young people has been recognised by her sister and Fixers South Wales Coordinator, Jenny Roach, who nominated her for the Above and Beyond award.

She said: “Amy has managed to turn her negative experience of living with depression into a positive, and in the process, has helped hundreds of local young people.

“Amy signed up to work with Fixers, a national charity that helps young people campaign on issues that matter to them, to create a film making others aware of the signs of depression, and offering young people creative ideas on how to cope.”

Miss Mullen’s nomination comes as one of the last in a series of nominations for the Newport Night of Honour Awards, and she is in for the chance of winning the title at a ceremony which will take place on September 22.

The Kings Church has teamed up with Argus for the third year running to find people and organistaions that have gone the extra mile to help others.

The eight categories include; the above and beyond award, public service superhero award, parent of the year, volunteer of the year; and community organisation of the year.

Miss Mullen said: “It is such as surprise to be nominated for this award.

“While doing my A levels I suffered from depression and found that I couldn’t concentrate on anything but art.

“It was really difficult to talk to someone and explain how I felt, so I started drawing.

"Art, for me, was a release.”

Miss Mullen has run workshops at the Ashley House in Cwmbran, Go Girls at Bron Afon Community Housing.

Miss Mullen has taken part in a West Country film for ITV News about self-harm and a film for ITV News Cymru Wales about homelessness.

She is also supporting two other Fixers projects in Wales that focus on depression, youth mental health and the realities of suicide.

She added: “Sometimes it can be hard to find the words to say about your feelings, and that is why I hope through my film, my workshops, and working with other projects in the local area, I can show young people how finding creativity can help you express things you otherwise may not be able to describe.”

You can see Miss Mullen’s documentary by visiting: http://www.fixers.org.uk/news/5827-11208/creative-content-film-complete.php

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