A MENTAL health charity which brings a creative approach to support and healing has celebrated the opening of its permanent base in Blackburn.

Arts 2 Heal now proudly sits in James Street after receiving a £114,000 National Lottery Community Funding grant, after spending years flitting between community centres, libraries and cafes.

The charity supports those who suffer with mental health issues by putting on arts-health focused activities, which help develop employability skills and regain confidence.

Ann Shuttleworth, who has been with the charity for two-and-a-half years after battling with anxiety, depression and panic attacks, said: "I feel like I am a totally different person after coming here.

"It's a fantastic group of people who I have become very close to and have made lots of friends and memories.

"Coming here has helped me ground myself."

Lisa Dawn, from Blackburn, has been supported by the charity and is now in the process of gaining a degree in counselling.

She said: "When I first came here I had hold of my dads arm to gaining my degree is amazing.

"This place has done so much for me and I hope to return to provide some counselling and support as a thank you.

"It's been a big transformation. I am proud to know these people and call them my friends and my colleagues."

The charity celebrated the opening by having their works displayed on the walls and holding a dinner party.

Banu Adam, founder of the charity, said it was great to have somewhere permanent.

She said: "It's a place where we can grow and flourish.

"We have somewhere to put the artwork, let it dry and enjoy it properly.

"The projects are a great way to help people get back on their feet.

"They help people engage and develop their employability skills.

"The projects allow people to be organised, creative and support those who feel isolated."