Longfield has launched its Big Heart auction to raise money for its community-based art for health groups. 

Art for health provides people with a focus and an outlet for their feeling and emotions. It also helps people relax and relieve anxiety and stress.

Before Sue Finney started attending art for health group, she seldom left her home in Quedgeley.

Sue, who is usually outgoing, spent more and more time at home. The more ill she became the more her confidence seemed to fade.

“I felt quite useless in society. My life had become limited to my family and I had become very insular. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath me,” she said.

“Art for health and Longfield have really transformed my life. I’m going out more. My husband says Longfield has given me back my ‘sparkle’. I feel a bit more of my old self - the old self that I thought was lost and gone forever.”

Renowned international artist PJ Crook, who is based in Bishop’s Cleeve, is backing the campaign and will create a piece of work for the auction. She hopes other artists will join her in supporting such a worthy cause.

“Art can make such a difference to our lives. Of course it brings great joy but it has a powerful therapeutic benefit which Longfield taps into,” said PJ.

In October Longfield will take the art on tour with the Big Heart Roadshow and there will be exhibitions at The Wilson, Cheltenham,  Regent Arcade, Cheltenham, Museum in the Park, Stroud, Bay Gallery, Tetbury, Gloucester Cathedral and  the Corinium Museum, Cirencester.

Then there will be an online auction from November.

To find out how you can donate a piece of work to the auction, go to www.longfield.org.uk/bigheart or email fundraising@longfield.org.uk.