Laurel Gardens in the picture

Laurel Gardens extra care scheme in Hartlepool is helping one resident to harness his creative side and produce some beautiful artwork.

Laurel Gardens Artist Web

21 Dec 2018

Mick Forcer, who has lived at Thirteen’s Laurel Gardens scheme for just over two years, regularly puts pen to paper to produce portraits of people and animals.

He has been drawing all his life but since moving into Laurel Gardens, Mick has seen an increase in the number of people requesting portraits of friends, family and pets.

Mick said: “I’ve always drawn right from being at school – though I didn’t like the art classes very much as I didn’t like drawing things like telephone boxes and still life!

“I prefer to do portraits and now people bring me photographs and I spend from half an hour to two hours to draw each one. It really fills the time in and it’s nice to give people something that they can keep and put on the wall.

“I also go to an art class twice a week and have made some new friends who I try and help out as much as I can. I’ve got plenty of space in the flat to do my drawings and people are always nipping in to give me new photos to draw.”

Rachel Bailey, housing support co-ordinator at Laurel Gardens, said: “It’s great to see Mick working on his drawings as he gets lots of pleasure out of them. More and more people are bringing him photos for him to draw and it’s amazing to see how good they are.

“He’s done portraits for lots of other residents and staff at Laurel Gardens so it’s really nice to see. Mick’s very independent and likes to get out and about, going to his art classes, walking into the town centre and training to become a volunteer, so he’s got lots going on.”

Mick continued: “I like living at Laurel Gardens. The staff are really helpful and it’s good to be around the other residents, especially when they bring me more projects to work on.”