If you take an interest in art or photography and feel strongly for mental health awareness then you are already well on your way to creating an art piece for the Gifted Young Gravesham Committee, a youth group based at The Grand in Gravesend town centre and made up of the Gravesham Youth Council, the H4U Committee and other individual teenagers.


In recent weeks, the GYG committee have set up an art competition for 11 – 19 year olds to produce a picture or photograph recognising mental health as a serious illness, thus reducing the stigma surrounding it. Do you have what it takes to design an original idea that advertises those factors?


This is not The Grand’s first attempt at an art competition as last year was their first annual contest, organised to showcase the talent of teenagers in the local area. The competition was a major success, planned solely by the Gravesham Youth Council with the help of The Grand. Entrants could submit work made of any medium – pen, acrylics, pastels, watercolours – and based on any of the following themes: War and Peace, Superheroes and Villains, Past and Future, and Nature.
The winner of the competition was Fiona Brett, aged 16 at the time, with her War and Peace painting, emblazoned with ‘We Will Remember Them’.


This year, the GYG Committee want Gravesham’s best in making a poster to raise mental health awareness, alongside their talent show that will be held in Woodville Halls in November.

The Committee’s aims have shifted from previous years as, instead of primarily recognising teen talent, they want to address the incredibly high percentage of adolescents suffering from mental illnesses in the area. In one of my earlier articles I even mentioned that one school in Gravesham has three residential councillors a week to aid students.


If you are interested in taking part in the competition, here is what you need to know:

There will be two age categories within the competition with an overall winner to win £100 and two runners up from either category to win £50 each. The main winner will have copies of their picture posted in various locations around Gravesend, as well as the original displayed in an exhibition hall with the other entrants.

The piece you make can be a photograph, drawing or painting; created with any medium.
The deadline is the 22nd August 2015 and all original pictures need to be handed into the Grand itself by that date. Emails from the GYG committee have been sent out to art teachers in local schools so if you can’t make it to the Grand you have the opportunity to hand your work into your teachers for them to deliver or for the Grand to collect. The Grand’s address is 26 King Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1AU


For any further information please visit the Grand at www.thegrand.org.uk or by calling them at 01474 320123.


Good luck to all of those who enter!


All photos were taken from the Gravesham Borough Council Flickr page with permission.


Emma Cooper
Saint Georges C of E