Mental health and inclusivity mural installed at College

13th July 2021 1:50pm - Return to press releases

East Riding College unveiled a new mural on its Bridlington campus recently, themed around mental health. The idea for the installation started life as a graffiti wall, designed to help students reflect on the pandemic and its impact on mental health. As the project progressed, Enrichment Officer Jodie Kempson collaborated with students, who wanted to make the wall and its surrounding area into a space to spend time and reflect.


The outcome of the collaboration and the involvement of mural artist Emma Garness meant that the end product reflects the themes of inclusivity and equality, as well as mental health.


The wall features five faces of people with special connections to the College.


Luke Crispin – a former student of East Riding College who sadly died in 2020 – his parents were honoured that the students asked if they could feature Luke on the wall and they visited the mural on what would have been Luke’s 18th birthday.

Kirsty Young – a former student and now a member of staff. Kirsty is very open about her own personal battles with mental health, has overcome a lot of adversity in her life, and is an inspiration to the College’s students.

Lewis Singleton – a former student and now member of staff at the Beverley campus – Lewis has been a student at the College from foundation level to degree level, and is now a media tutor. Lewis has autism and faces his own struggles on a daily basis. He is an advocate for learners of all levels.

Nikki Custus – the son of staff member Sally, who works in the refectory at the Bridlington campus. Nikki sadly died in 2020 after his own battles with mental health. Sally was honoured to have her son on the wall and is grateful that she can visit it regularly.

Lily Smith – Lily is a student and proud advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She has worked hard over the last year to be comfortable with herself. Students wanted her to see her face on the wall so she could be reminded of how beautiful and courageous she is. 


At the students’ suggestion, the wall also features positive words and phrases, bright colours and a trail of foliage, each of which represent herbs that encourage good mental health, such as passionflower, rosemary and lavender. A sensory herb garden is planned for the future.


Enrichment Officer Jodie Kempson said, “It’s been a fantastically positive and heart-warming project to be involved with. The students led the way in including diversity and inclusivity themes alongside mental health, and I think what we’ve come up with in a collaborative way is something that’s positive and also quite meaningful. The mural has created an outdoor space on campus for thought and reflection, as well as a beautiful and eye-catching piece of wall art.”


Artist Emma Garness said, “It was a great project to work on, the students had a big beautiful list of things that they wanted to include, and this inspired everything in the design, from the interconnecting circles to the brightly coloured quotes and portraits. A great collaboration, the students helped paint the outline of the designs and we were all very happy with the finished result. An example of a community mural that will have meaning for its community for years to come.”