A WEST Cumbrian artist and musician has explained how she has used creative pursuits to help her cope with a health condition and past trauma. 

Emma Hunt, of Egremont, suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a life-limiting condition affecting collagen in the body which causes hypermobility, and further painful and serious complications.

She has also had a history of domestic abuse, which she is still learning to cope with.

Ms Hunt said: "I was unable to work a regular job so in 2007, I returned home to Cumbria.

"I spent 2007 to 2018 in bed, believing the pain and prognosis was always going to be the same.

"In 2018, my doctors began weaning me off my pain relief, which felt like a death sentence but was actually, life giving.

"I woke up to the beauty around me and began painting pastel landscapes.

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"During this time, there was an absence of pain or worry so all I wanted to do was share this benefit with my community."

In 2019 Emma began volunteering for Women Out West, who support those who have been victims of domestic violence.

She has also done worked with Calderwood House in Egremont who support homeless people and veterans, amongst a range of other volunteering work.

Whitehaven News: ARTIST: Emma performing her music at a gigARTIST: Emma performing her music at a gig

She has offered free workshops and, along with other work, has raised thousands of pounds for a number of charities. Emma said: "We all need to take care of our minds, like we do our bodies.

"Just an hour a week doing something you love is so beneficial to mental health and we can afford one hour but we don’t give ourselves enough love."

She has also used her music to start gigging and regain her confidence, with many people seeking out her music and art. Emma is currently on the lookout for more gig work at the moment.

Emma went onto describe how the physical and mental affects of domestic abuse have affected her. She said: "The after effects of physical and mental abuse are devastating.

"I didn’t know what to do, there were hardly any services available because sadly, there had been a spike in domestic abuse.

"I fell through the cracks and I knew that I would end up in a very dark place if I didn’t do something to help myself recover.

"Because of trauma bonding, many victims will not wish to leave their abuser, but there’s no judgment, even if a woman wished to stay in the relationship, help is available."

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