Jeremy Corbyn meets the man who lit up his living room at Outpost, Holloway Road
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A piece of art by a man who once painted lines on playgrounds hangs in Jeremy Corbyn’s living room – and it’s so good the MP is in the market for another one.
Like many, 62-year-old Roy Appleton is discovering his creative side with the help of Holloway Road social enterprise shop Outpost, which is how Mr Corbyn encountered his paintings.
The two came face-to-face on Friday at an official launch event for Enterprising People, a project in Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets to tackle homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse.
It will run workshops on printmaking, joinery and creative writing.
Charity bosses hope to help 900 people over the next three years develop their talents and job prospects by making and selling things.
Speaking at the event, Mr Corbyn said: “The creative work done here is absolutely crucial to everyone.
“There are issues of homelessness. There are issues of health.
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“It’s important to provide physical help, but it is also important to give people an understanding that they can contribute to society.”
On the range of people being helped by the organisation, Mr Corbyn added: “I am keen to see areas like ours remain a mixed community. It is what makes our community so wonderful and so special.”
Housing association Peter Bedford, which runs Outpost, received a Big Lottery Fund grant of £410,000 to fund the project, which will see users sell and exhibit their work in the Holloway Road shop.
My Corbyn thanked Mr Appleton for the bright, abstract canvas that now hangs in his home.
Mr Appleton, who lives with bipolar disorder, said: “I felt excellent when I found out.”
With the promise of a second sale to the Islington North MP, Mr Appleton told the Gazette: “I’ll think of a few colours and keep it bright for a bit of hope. I’ll wait till I’m in a really good mood and then I’ll paint it.”
Mr Corbyn added: “Creativity is so important. There’s a poet or painter in all of us.”