VISITORS to an arts charity were invited to ‘pack up their troubles’ and join members in song to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Arts 4 Wellbeing, based in Derby Terrace, South Shields, threw open its doors to the public yesterday for themed afternoon.
The members, who all have a varying range of mental health needs and disabilities, were showcasing their singing talents by belting out old wartime songs.
The event was organised to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the conflict.
For the past few months. members who attend the arts charity, have been practising for the show, learning songs including Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kitbag and It’s A Long Way To Tipperary.
Visitors were also treated to a rendition of Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again in recognition of the sacrifices made by those who fought in the Second World War.
Project manager Dave Wood said: “Everyone who took part in the event thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The place was packed out with visitors, family and friends.
“It was such an emotional afternoon with quite a few tears shed.
“It was really important for us to hold an event to mark the occasion, as it is important for us all to remember the sacrifices that have been made for us.
“The members have been learning their songs for the past few months and learning about the war.
“They were all looking forward to doing their bit as part of the 100 year commemoration.”
As well as songs, members put together images and poems based on the war.
Mr Wood added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to the TA centre in Highfield Road for loaning us camouflage nets, which were used to give the room a bit more ethnicity.
“We are now looking to take the show on the road, so if anyone would like us to perform for them, please get in touch.”
Arts 4 Wellbeing gives adults the chance to tune into their artistic side, and create everything from paintings to pottery.
Professional artists work with adults with physical or learning disabilities as well as those with mental health needs to encourage them to develop their hidden talents.
To contact the charity, call 454 4004.