A UTTOXETER charity supporting people with mental health issues has moved to set the record straight after the town’s bull monument had its giant bulge painted red.
The Art and Soul Friendship Group, which is based in the Market Place, adorned the sculpture of the bull, which is on the roundabout in Town Meadows Way, with a fetching purple neckerchief back in February.
Bosses behind the charity said the act was to ‘bring a smile to people’s faces’ and start a discussion about mental health.
As a result of the act, the sculpture Andy Scott got in touch with Art and Soul and offered the charity words of support as well as a donation towards art materials.
However, the charity is now being blamed for an act of vandalism late last year which saw its private parts painted red, an act Art and Soul has clarified it had nothing to do with.
A spokesman for charity said: “Art and Soul is having a bit of negative feedback by the way of gossip, as some people think that we did the painting.
“We did receive a donation from the artist as a result of the scarf which was to put a smile on people’s faces and to raise awareness of mental ill health and our charity in Uttoxeter, not to cause any upset or offence which the painting of the balls caused some people.
“We do not want to be associated with the vandalism.”
The scarf, which was removed by council chiefs, was aiming to show how much people working together and supporting each other can achieve when a person is feeling unwell.
At the time, the spokesman said: “Members within the organisation often come up with some inspiring ideas involving art and creativity.
“Members enjoy individual art work and group participation to help them build on their self esteem, self worth, and confidence to improve and sustain good mental well-being.
“Art and Soul and its members do not support graffiti or vandalism and hope that the bull remains in its original state and our publicity stunt does not encourage further or more serious acts.
“The experience has inspired members to shortly create their own art pieces, collaboratively, about the bull, as discussion with the artist has led to a greater awareness of his work and the commemorative nature of his piece.”