Byline: HELEN RAE
STUDENTS from the region have given the personal touch to a Primary Care Trust's new sexual health centre with some specially produced artwork.
The students, from Tyne Metropolitan College, created a range of pieces for the centre, which were then hand-framed by a local social enterprise group.
The pictures have been hung in the waiting room of North Tyneside's sexual health premises, the One to One Centre, on Brenkley Avenue in Shiremoor to add to the welcoming and friendly environment.
Helen Mcilveen, head of sexual health services for North Tyneside PCT, said: "We know people are sometimes apprehensive about using sexual health services and we want to do everything we can to reassure patients and put them at ease when they visit the centre.
"First impressions influence the way someone thinks and feels about a building.
"We want people to feel relaxed and comfortable when they come to the One to One Centre and this artwork adds a unique feature to this very contemporary environment. People are surprised when they first come through our doors."
The students from Tyne Metropolitan College got involved in the project after Ms Mcilveen contacted Emma Fraser, assistant curriculum leader at TyneMet.
Ms Fraser said: "When looking at the brief for this project we discussed the fact that looking after your sexual health is as important and as normal as looking after any other part of your general health and wellbeing.
"But the students agreed that there can be a lot of embarrassment and worry over using sexual health services.
"Trying to counteract those feelings with their art was something the students really strived for. The students wanted to create works of art that people using the service and staff working in the centre would enjoy looking at and I really think they've delivered on that."
The finished pictures were framed by staff from the social enterprise group Lydia's House, which provides training and employment for disadvantaged women in the North East. …