Published on: Tuesday 25th July 2023

The Connections Exhibition, showcasing art by the children and young people from Mindworks Surrey’s STARS and New Leaf services, has opened today. The free exhibition is open until Tuesday 8 August at the Horton Arts Centre, Epsom.


The STARS service supports children and young people who have been affected by sexual abuse and assault. The New Leaf Service supports children and young people who are in care, leaving care, adopted or under special guardianship orders.

The children and young people who use STARS and New Leaf were invited to create art relating to the theme of ‘connection’ or ‘what matters to me’. This is linked to Children’s Mental Health Week earlier this year, which had the theme: ‘Let’s Connect’.

Emina Atic-Lee, Service Manager for STARS and New Leaf services, said: “We’re very proud to be showcasing this art exhibition, celebrating the incredible talent and creative spirit of young people whom we support at our specialist services. Creating the art has encouraged the children and young people to think about the power of connections, both on an emotional and physical level.  


“The artwork created is hugely reflective, insightful and poignant. It provides valuable insight into what really matters to children and young people who have suffered trauma and loss in their lives and how they connect with others and the world around them.”

Rebecca Robertson works as a Specialist Mental Health Therapist within the STARS service and is also a qualified Art Therapist. She explained: “The process of making art can allow the subconscious mind to process traumatic thoughts, experiences and feelings. It’s not just the finished image which is useful, but also the process of creating it.” 

One of the images being displayed at the exhibition (above) represents the painter’s past and present self, side-by-side. The young person who created the painting said: “This piece is my connection to hospitals, supporting the people I love. This represents the ‘then’ and ‘now’. However, the journey is ongoing.”

The Connections Art Exhibition runs from 25 July-8 August, Tuesday-Saturdays 9:15am-4pm and until 11pm on Fridays. The address is: Horton Arts Centre, The Horton, Haven Way Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8NP.  Sat Nav: Haven Way, KT19 7HA. 

You can read more about the Connections Art Exhibition on The Horton website.

You can read more information about the STARS and New Leaf services on the Mindworks Surrey website.