Rosetta Ceesay, a resident of Patrick Roddy Court, was inspired to share her own story with us after reading about Helen’s interesting life.
“When we got the magazine delivered, the first thing I noticed was the painting on the front cover. It was impressive to see the skills that Helen was sharing with the residents at the scheme in Moss Side.
“I’m an artist too, you see, and some of my own paintings are up on the walls of the sheltered schemes across Manchester. In my life I’ve worked as an art therapist for many years working with terminally ill children, as well as in Africa.”
Rosetta’s life around the world has been the basis of her creative talents:
“I’ve done a lot of travelling throughout my life. Whilst living in Australia, I had a gallery where I would paint using aboriginal styles. When I moved back to the UK, I ran art galleries over here that exhibited work of African descent which is my interest.
“I ran that gallery for a number of years, but after an accident that meant I could no longer cope with going up four flights of stairs, I had to find somewhere else to live. That’s how I ended up in Patrick Roddy Court.”
Rosetta has spent part of her life working in Gambia, Africa. Whilst setting-up a children’s charity in the village of Batti in 2003, she met her husband. Being based in Gambia meant she could share her artistic skills with the community.
“When I went to Batti I wanted to pass on my love of crochet and knitting with some of the younger people. I thought, ‘if I can get some of the young girls interested in this then maybe they can make a bit of money doing it’.
“They worked on crocheting blankets for some of the older members of the community to rest on. The girls that I taught are now teaching others in the village. Last time I was there we had 23 people all coming together to knit hats and earn some money from their products.” Since returning to England,
Rosetta hasn’t lost her connection with the African country:
“People who’ve heard about my projects over there have been very kind to donate big bags of yarn that the people can use. Next time I go there at Christmas I want to go into one of the local schools and help to teach the young people English and art skills. We’ve also got gardening projects setup too, and we’ve planted 210 trees to try and help the soil erosion problem.
“My father-in-law lives in Batti and is 105 years old. He is incredibly active and an inspiration to me. If I can get people motivated to keep doing the things they get enjoyment from by volunteering and helping in the community, then for me that is life.”
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