BBC artist helping people brush up on skills

A former BBC portrait artist has been helping people brush up on art skills, with help from a Telford & Wrekin Council-funded initiative.

BBC artist helping people brush up on skills

Roger Farr, is a former BBC portrait artist and runs the weekly ‘chatty club’ at Dawley Baptist Church every Monday and at £3 a session, it makes for an affordable option for people watching their spending. 

Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities, Councillor Paul Watling (Lab) said: “This group came about from a few community-minded people who wanted to create a place where anyone can come and feel welcome and learn from a very skilled artist. 

“After some initial funding to buy equipment like pastels, pencils and paints, the project now funds itself through an affordable donation and more and more people are attending all the time. 

“The classes are great, reducing loneliness, helping people to learn a new skill and creating a support network which is exactly what the project is all about – building stronger communities with help from those who live locally and understand the needs of the people around them. Thank you to Roger and all the volunteers who make this group possible.”  

The Safer & Stronger Communities project aims to tackle concerns around neighbourhood safety and to also look at longer term solutions through social groups that can support and engage people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “It’s groups like this that bring our communities together and make people feel happier, and safer where they live. I am proud my investments alongside Telford and Wrekin Council are building safer, stronger communities all across Telford.” 

Leading the investment with £2m, the council is working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion who is providing a further £500k.

The classes are held every Monday between 10am to 12noon at Dawley Baptist Church and include an hour lesson with time for drinks afterwards. 

The funding also helped with an instructor to host Tai Chi classes, a gentle form of exercise with health and meditation benefits. There are held on Thursdays (10-12noon) and also cost £3. 

For more details visit the website about the Safer & Stronger Communities project, visit the website at or to contact the Safer & Stronger Communities neighbourhood coordinator, email