FOUR people found they were creative in more ways than one when an £80 investment led to a flourishing group.
In 2011, they each chipped in £20 to form Ocean Arts, which uses art as therapy for adults with learning difficulties.
The group now has more than 70 members and has expanded to include music therapy and performance in care homes.
It has now been nominated for Community Group of the Year in the Pride of South Tyneside Awards 2013.
Michael Thompson, from South Tyneside Council for Voluntary Service, said; “All income is raised by the group and help has been received from the National Lottery.
“Members spent 12 months studying the history of South Shields, which inspired them to paint pictures, which were exhibited.
“This year, they partnered with Lindisfarne Gospels Durham and were responsible for the visit of one of the gospels to Trinity House.
“The group welcomes volunteers from the community to assist running the many classes and groups.
“This has helped the group to display itself as an exceptional, imaginative organisation, with quality service provision and determination at its core.
“Having seen the group work so hard and to see the benefits, pleasure and true sense of community, I have no hesitation to recognise Ocean Arts as a worthwhile recipient.”
The group is based at Trinity House Social Centre in Laygate, South Shields.
Chairman Martin Wray said: “All the members will be overwhelmed.
“They work so hard and they enjoy all of the sessions.”
The Pride of South Tyneside Awards, organised by the Gazette, South Tyneside Council and the Customs House, honour the borough’s unsung heroes.
Ten awards will be handed out in a glittering ceremony at the Temple Park Centre in South Shields on Sunday, April 28.