ARTWORKS created by people recovering from mental health issues were praised by Bury’s mayor, Cllr Mike Connolly, when he opened a local charity’s art exhibition.

Hosted at Bury’s Art Gallery and Sculpture Museum, the annual show featured drawing and paintings by members of Start in Bury, who meet weekly at Manchester Road Community Centre.

Run exclusively by volunteers, Start in Bury uses the visual arts to assist people in developing their creativity, confidence and social skills.

Professional artists Lisa Broadhurst and Jack Wright, who created Radcliffe’s popular Nailing Home sculpture, have now managed the community project for nearly 15 years.

Despite losing its local authority funding 15 months ago, the charity continues to support with new and existing members who are referred to it by the NHS or the council’s Adult Services department.

Mr Wright said: “We were honoured and delighted to welcome the mayor and his consort to what is a major highlight in Start in Bury’s calendar.

“He appeared genuinely enthused by both the quality of work on show and to learn more of therapeutic benefit of Start in Bury’s weekly sessions.”

Cllr Connolly said: “I’m one of those people who doesn’t know a lot about art, but I know what I like – and I like very much the work that I have seen today.”

During his visit he chatted with many of the artists about their work before enjoying a slice of cake specially prepared for the occasion by Start in Bury member Ilonka Linder.