Customers using the Family Mosaic Brookside office in Southampton often commented that they didn’t enjoy the space because it felt too formal. There were some prints on the wall bought by Family Mosaic, but it didn’t feel like a space that was also used and belonged to customers.

DSC_0533-2Staff using the office space set up an office art project. The aim was to ask customers across the different teams using the office to paint pictures of places or people that were meaningful to them. One day a week for eight weeks customers travelled to Southampton’s City Art Gallery and painted pictures onto canvas.

When the pictures were finished, staff chose the ones that would work best on the office walls. The paintings were professionally framed and hung up on the walls and all the customers that were involved were invited to a launch day at the office to unveil the works.

The event included a tea party celebration and everyone watched a film that was created to show the progress and completion of the project.

Customers were really happy to see their paintings on the office walls. All of the paintings were of a really good standard, especially considering some of the customers had never painted before. At each of the painting sessions, customers helped each other with trying out and practicing painting techniques which helped develop a wide range of skills.

Those whose work was chosen all received a supply of paints and canvases so they could continue to develop their painting at home. They also received a copy of the film so they would have a reminder of the project.

Since the project, everyone has said that the office is a much brighter space! Customers said that the office now feels like it’s a much more friendly place and they have a real sense of belonging.

Lyndsey Yorke, a Family Mosaic customer, said:

I enjoyed being in the group and didn’t want it to end.

Steve Curtis, Hampshire and West Sussex Area Manager, recognises the positive impact of the project:

Every day it’s great to see the art on the walls of the office and to know that customers really enjoyed making it and I’m looking forward to see what they do next!