Richmond Fellowship’s Castle service is based in the University City of Cambridge. The service provides Supported Housing for young people between the ages of 16 and 25. It regularly gets involved in community activities including the Mill Road Winter Fair and is very active in fundraising and organising activities for people we support.
But did you know a mural, situated in one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Cambridge was created in partnership with the service?
It’s located on the city’s Mill Road bridge, the same road as the service’s office and has been a positive talking point of the area since its creation in 2006.
The artwork was designed by Sharon, a person staying at the neighbouring Youth Foyer as part of a competition. She spoke to the Cambridge News/Cambridgeshire Live website about it in 2019:
“Castle service were wanting to find a design that would adorn the Mill Road bridge and were encouraging people staying at the Youth Foyer to submit ideas.
The winning concept would be decided by a vote after all the designs were publicly exhibited, she was told.
So, inspired by the multicultural vibrancy of Mill Road, Sharon set to work with a huge, two-metre-long piece of paper and began to create her vision.
The idea, which was intended to represent both “the community of Mill Road and the wider world,” was comprised of a series of adjoining and overlapping flags, all overlaid with a line of irises.
Sharon said: “It took about three or four months for me to actually finish it.
“I was doing it every day, even on the weekends. It was my way of trying to stay afloat and not sink into depression.
“I didn’t know where I was going to go after.”
The designs were voted on, both by members of the public and residents of the Youth Foyer and the Castle Project, and Sharon’s proposal was chosen as one of the winning designs.
So, along with volunteers and residents from the Castle service and the Cambridge Youth Foyer, she set about painting the mural in the summer of 2006.
Sharon said: “We all got together and painted it. It really brought us together.
“After that, it really helped us to remain bonded. For many of us who didn’t have anywhere to go at Christmas, it was nice to have that little feeling of community and camaraderie.”
She added: “I’m extremely proud of the effort and support put in by the volunteers who helped me to create a moment so bright in my life when there was only darkness.
“This project spring-boarded me forward into where I am now.”
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