"Retreat to the Exhibition" Makes Cheerful Return

Date Released - 29/06/2022

“REASONS to be Cheerful” was the theme for this year’s SEND (special educational needs and disability) schools arts hub exhibition.

The annual collaboration, which was supported by Tameside Cultural Services, took place at Thomas Ashton School, Hyde, on June 22 and was attended by the Civic Mayor and Mayoress of Tameside, Cllr Michael Glover and Mrs Anne Gordon.

Each year pupils and students from the participating schools create artwork under the “Return to the Exhibition” banner in response to a theme, with a selection being available for sale as part of the schools’ enterprise enrichment schemes and Learn to Earn.

“Reasons to be Cheerful” was chosen as the 2022 theme as everyone was so pleased to be back together after the pandemic and its lockdowns, and wanted to celebrate and show gratitude.

The participating schools were: Cromwell, Dukinfield; Elmbridge, Denton; Hawthorns, Audenshaw; Oakdale, Hyde; Safe Start, Ashton; Samuel Laycock, Ashton; Thomas Ashton, Hyde, and White Bridge, Dukinfield. There was also work produced by young people who take part in Active Tameside’s supported internship scheme.

Visitors also had the opportunity to buy other items – from plants, and cakes to bric-a-brac – with all funds raised going to the Reuben’s Retreat charity which supports families that have suffered the loss of a child or have a child with a complex illness.

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member for education and achievement, said: “I was delighted to see the return of ‘Return to the Exhibition’ under the wonderful and uplifting theme of ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’.

“Our schools have many exceptional artists among their pupils, and across all media, as this exhibition shows. The work on display provided a vibrant expression of talent and I’m sure there was great interest in the items available for sale.”