Run in partnership with Western Health and Social Care Trust Recovery Services in Derry~Londonderry, Limavady and Strabane, the TECH5 Project provided 15 young adults with enduring mental health difficulties the opportunity to receive training in digital fabrication equipment, including 3D printers, vinyl cutters and laser cutters, culminating in an OCN Level 1 qualification.
Supported by the Public Health Agency through The CLEAR Project, TECH5 ran over 16 weeks and was targeted at young adult service users from Western Trust Recovery Services.
Helen Ferguson, Occupational Therapist at Western Trust, explained: 'Younger people increasingly experience the world and express themselves through the use of digital media and technology. This project has sought to reflect this changing lifeworld context and to translate the traditional use of creative activity in mental health recovery services into a format using digital technology to appeal to the millennial generation.
'In addition to the technical and enterprise skills gained, the programme inspired and empowered individuals to be creative, to develop their own design ideas and to use the technical skills they have acquired to bring their ideas to life. The group sessions in the FabLab also promoted social interaction, team working, confidence building and provided participants with support to integrate back into their community and develop meaningful roles and routines.'
The 'TECH5 Cube' will be on display until May 9 at the Central Library, Foyle Street after which it will tour the local libraries in Limavady and Strabane. The concept is based on the ‘Take5’ steps to wellbeing and is designed to promote public awareness of how we can all take simple steps in our daily lives to maintain and improve our mental wellbeing. The ‘Take5’ steps are CONNECT, BE ACTIVE, TAKE NOTICE, KEEP LEARNING and GIVE.
In addition to the 'TECH5 Cube', FabLab recently launched another public artwork entitled 'Community of Homes'. Produced in partnership with Churches Trust, the tree-based structure reflects home and community and can be seen currently at the Garden of Reflection, behind the Holywell Trust building on Bishop Street.