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Down to a fine art – local artist joins Edinburgh care home for the world’s largest drawing festival

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Residents at a care home in Edinburgh picked up their pencils recently and welcomed local artist Jennifer Thomson for The Big Draw Festival 2019.

Care UK’s Murrayside, at South Beechwood, joined in the celebrations by creating works of art around this year’s theme, ‘drawn to life’.

As well as leading a drawing class for residents, Jennifer also unveiled a special work of art, entitled “Edinburgh Zoo Queue”. In memory of her late father, the print has been donated to Murrayside, and will now be displayed in the home for visitors and residents alike to enjoy.

Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, The Big Draw promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception. This year’s theme celebrates the benefits of creative activities, especially drawing, on health and wellbeing. 2019 also marks the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth, founder of the Guild of St George, the charitable education trust behind the initiative.

Michelle Reid, home manager at Murrayside, said: “Here at Murrayside, we firmly believe that activity-based care is essential in supporting residents to lead fulfilling lives, so The Big Draw is a fantastic initiative for us to get involved with.

“Drawing is an accessible activity that people of all ages can enjoy together, so we were delighted to welcome Jennifer Thomson back to Murrayside to join us for the occasion. Art has proven benefits for older people, by offering the chance to tap into happy memories and an alternative way to communicate emotions and thoughts, which Jennifer’s masterclass certainly demonstrated!

“Everyone had a wonderful day, and we are proud to be displaying Jennifer’s print in our home for everyone to see.”

Murrayside care home has been specially designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities, and has its own cinema, hair salon and café.

To find out more about Murrayside, please contact customer relations manager, Gillian Gray, on 0131 516 8767, or email  

For more general information, please visit

To find out more about the Big Draw festival, please go to

Open to new residents

34 South Beechwood, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH12 5YS


Care Inspectorate: Registered
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • End of life care
  • Respite care
  • Day club

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