Please improve your Jimmy shoes

Learning thrifty shoe upcycling skills at Sheryl Hall's free Art Workshop held to raise awarness of Narcolepsy. SUS-191202-151247001
Learning thrifty shoe upcycling skills at Sheryl Hall's free Art Workshop held to raise awarness of Narcolepsy. SUS-191202-151247001

A week long charity Art Workshop, which was attended by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Mayor of Hastings has been hailed as a great success.

The fun event, launched by Hastings Mayor, Cllr Nigel Sinden and organised by local artist Sheryl Hall was held at the Rock House Meeting Room, Hastings, 4-10 February to raise awareness of Narcolepsy UK.

Learning thrifty shoe upcycling skills at Sheryl Hall's free Art Workshop held to raise awarness of Narcolepsy. SUS-191202-151410001

Learning thrifty shoe upcycling skills at Sheryl Hall's free Art Workshop held to raise awarness of Narcolepsy. SUS-191202-151410001

Sheryl’s expertise gave visitors the opportunity to learn thrifty upcycling skills and jazz up their shoes using comic book characters. Crafters transformed old high-heels, boots, trainers and kids shoes into fun comic book couture.

Sheryl studied Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies, opening Latibulum Lumen Candles in 2015. She has Narcolepsy with Cataplexy and the free to attend workshop gave her the platform she needed to raise awareness for Narcolepsy UK, a priority she said for those with “this debilitating and misunderstood condition,” adding: “I am hoping that the workshop was fun, that people who attended enjoyed themselves, and left with more of an understanding about the condition so that future undiagnosed sufferers may not have the great struggle of getting a diagnosis.”

Narcolepsy is a rare long-term brain disorder that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times and can have a significant impact on daily life.

Sheryl’s workshop attracted the attention of Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, who upcycled a pair of her shoes. She said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Sheryl at her first public workshop designed to raise awareness for Narcolepsy UK, and to see the innovative ways in which members of the public are encouraged to transform their old high-heels, boots and trainers into fun comic book couture.

Learning thrifty shoe upcycling skills at Sheryl Hall's free Art Workshop held to raise awarness of Narcolepsy. SUS-191202-151257001

Learning thrifty shoe upcycling skills at Sheryl Hall's free Art Workshop held to raise awarness of Narcolepsy. SUS-191202-151257001

“I hardly recognised my high-heels after learning how to decorate them myself using Sheryl’s technique. It was fun to make them so much more colourful, individual and unique.”

Sheryl’s Art Workshop also attracted the attention of the BBC. She said: “BBC Radio Sussex interviewed me and I spoke with breakfast host Mark Carter about living with Narcolepsy. The BBC then got back in touch and a reporter, Alex, came to the last day of the workshop to film me talk more about Narcolepsy and Cataplexy for a short piece on BBC South East. Alex also spoke to my eldest son Ehren about living with a parent with this condition. “They also filmed my sleep specialist from the Conquest Hospital, who helped me through diagnosis. I am very pleased that they included my sleep consultant as he and his team gave me the ability to get diagnosis, treatment and help me with any struggles I encounter due to my disability.

“The Art Workshop was a great success and in total we raised £77.35. Following on from this I will be running the workshop at Narcolepsy UK’s conference in Manchester (date to be confirmed); they also congratulated me for the awareness I have given the condition which will be included in their grant report this year.”

“I thank the Observer Series so much for the coverage leading up to and even during the event.

“Without your support it would never have been such a success.”

For more information visit: www.narcolepsy.org.uk