Skip to main content
Back to top

'Get Started Art' Spearheads Mental Health Campaign

Get Started Art Initiative


The United Grand Lodge of England and the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemason's charity, jointly chose 'Get Started Art' to fly the flag for Freemasonry in its support for Dementia Action Week from 13th – 19th May 2024, a major national annual campaign to create awareness of, and give support to, those suffering with dementia. 

Mandala-style art therapy colouring books were delivered to nineteen participating Provinces: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Devonshire, Dorset, East Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, North Wales, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, Northumberland, South Wales, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, West Kent, West Lancashire, Yorkshire North and East Ridings plus two in Scotland: Aberdeen West and Moray and Nairn. Over 20,000 Art Therapy Books were distributed to local care homes, community and support groups as part of the national campaign.



Anthony Howlett-Bolton OBE, Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire, said,

"As Freemasons, we understand the significance of fostering wellbeing in our communities. With the growing worries surrounding stress, anxiety and overall emotional welfare, this project is being introduced at a time when focusing on mental health is more crucial than ever. The provision of tools such as the mandala-based art therapy books can truly make an impact by encouraging relaxation, alleviating stress and improving mental health. Our goal is to distribute these books to hospitals, care facilities and charitable organisations throughout Berkshire to offer assistance and solace to individuals tackling these obstacles."

Provincial Charity Stewards such as Steve Rozier of West Kent and Mark Duncan of Buckinghamshire, who between them made fifteen deliveries and shared their enthusiasm with other Provinces, were instrumental to the success of the campaign along with the numerous volunteers from across the UK who made it all happen.

David Martins of Westgate Healthcare, which received 1500 books for their eight homes across Essex, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London, was quoted on Carehome UK's national website saying,

"We are deeply grateful for this thoughtful donation of art books. These books will not only serve as sources of inspiration and enjoyment but also as tools for therapeutic expression and social interaction for our elderly community members."

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Company's Maricel Foronda said,

"We've had a really positive response from the Home Managers who are appreciative of the initiative. Thanks again for getting us involved. Honestly, it's been really well received in our Homes."

The Care Company gave approval for their logo to be printed alongside the United Grand Lodge of England and Masonic Charitable Foundation on the art therapy colouring books, which were distributed to all 17 Care Company homes.

With over thirty news stories published throughout the UK in both national and regional press, the publicity for this successful initiative was extensive and has considerably raised the profile of Freemasonry to show how ready and willing Freemasons are to support major campaigns for charities, community support groups and other good causes.

The Art Therapy Books project 'Get Started Art', a charity, founded by Essex Freemason David Barton just 18 months ago, who united lodges that meet at the Cross Keys Masonic centre in Thurrock to form the Cross Keys Community Fund. Having grown from strength to strength it is a testament to the power of art therapy and collective brotherhood efforts. 

Join Freemasonry today

Locate your local lodge where you live, work or study.
International lookup by area

Enter your location or post code
Units: Miles
Address, City, Zip-Code, Country, ...