THE Duke of Gloucester met people with mental health problems whose lives have been transformed by a Worcester workshop.

The Duke visited the city’s Shrub Hill Workshop yesterday where he met an artist who says her life has been transformed beyond all recognition by Arts in Minds, a group set up by the workshop.

Shrub Hill, which is managed by the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, provides a service for people in mental health recovery, helping them find work, develop new skills and improve their confidence and self-esteem.

The Duke met talented artist Ursula Nash, aged 60, who lives off Bath Road, Worcester, who has produced artwork at the workshop since September last year.

It has helped her in her battle against chronic depression.

Mrs Nash, who has already exhibited and sold some of her paintings, said: “I have self-esteem now and I call myself an artist.

"I have been on anti-depressants since I was 16. This place has set me on the next stage to recovery.

"I hope one day to have a studio of my own. It has transformed my life – I can’t even begin to tell you.

“The Duke was very nice. He asked me about the picture I was working on and how long it was going to take to finish.”

After his tour, led by workshop team leader Velma Johnson, the Duke unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark his visit.

The Duke said it was a great pleasure to be invited to the workshop and said often people made wrong assumptions about those with mental health problems.

He said: “You shouldn’t look at what people can’t do. You should look at what they can do.

“That’s what you’re all doing here – you’re finding what people do best and making sure they have an opportunity to play a useful part in the community.”

The Duke was welcomed by Coun David Tibbutt, the Mayor of Worcester; Chris Burdon, chairman of the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust; trust chief executive Sarah Dugan; Ed Moore, chairman of Worcestershire County Council; Penelope Lewis, High Sheriff for Worcestershire; Angela Brinton, wife of the late Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire Michael Brinton, other members of the trust and service users based at the workshop.

The Duke also marked Severn Valley Railway's 150th year when he unveiled a plaque to commemorate the establishment of the Severn Valley Railway in 1862.