A unique mural created by a Barnstaple charity over nearly a year has been unveiled at North Devon District Hospital by local MP Peter Heaton-Jones.

The artwork was masterminded by Flying Fish Artists, a group which helps people recovering from mental health conditions by introducing them to painting and drawing.

The three-panelled coastal scene, inspired by North Devon's own coastline, was designed by members of the charity, based at Rock Park Lodge.  Patients at NDDH played a major role in its creation, helping with stencilling and other work.

Peter Heaton-Jones MP, who is also Patron of Flying Fish, said, “It's an honour to be asked to unveil this extraordinary work of art.  Its creation, over almost a year, has been painstaking, but the final result is stunning. Not only does it really brighten up the ward in such a prominent position, but it's a huge talking point.

“Flying Fish is all about promoting the therapeutic benefits of art – both its actual creation and the social aspect of the process.  It's fantastic that so many people have been involved, and that many more will want to talk about it when they see it at the hospital.

“I take a particular interest in mental health, so it's an honour to be Patron of Flying Fish and to see the brilliant work they do.  I also congratulate the hospital on working with the charity and commissioning this mural.  It's making a difference for so many people, but the charity is facing funding challenges at the moment. I would urge anyone who can support them to get in touch.”