A BRADFORD teenager has told how discovering a passion for art helped her battle anxiety during lockdown.

Edie Pilkington, a pupil at Tong Leadership Academy, began to suffer from anxiety as the pandemic separated her from friends and normal school life.

Faced with months of disruption, loneliness and boredom, the 14 year-old looked for a positive way to cope and turned to body art. Edie spent hours scouring social media looking for inspiration, experimenting with new materials and practising her new talent. What began as a hobby soon became a fully-fledged artistic talent for body art.

Edie said: “I felt very anxious during lockdown with all the changes taking place. I was also really worried about returning to school after months of being away.

“Sitting around and worrying all day wasn’t helping me and I felt I really needed a distraction.

“Working on my body art really helped. I was concentrating so hard on drawing and achieving the look I wanted it just felt like a relief from my anxiety.

“After a while, I just seemed to get better and better at what I was doing. I really love being able to see the results of my work.”

The talented artist recently had her work shared by Bradford born make-up artist, Ellis Atlantis, winner of the Netflix TV make up competition – ‘Glow Up.’

Edie hopes continue her studies and gain a place at Leeds Art University.

Dan Styles, Principal at Tong Leadership Academy, praised Edie for her talent and resilience during difficult times.

He said: “Edie is clearly a very talented pupil. Discovering this talent during what has been an incredibly turbulent and difficult time for many, really demonstrates the depth of her resilience.

“The impact of the recent disruptions on our young people should not be underestimated. At Tong Leadership Academy we are providing the very best support we can for our pupils through these unprecedented times so that they can go on to achieve the very best they can.

“From day one of lockdown we began teaching live lessons and supporting our pupils online. We also provided physical support to struggling families by delivering food packages and picking up the phone to keep in touch to make sure everyone was ok.

“We are incredibly proud of Edie and all of our pupils. We would encourage any of our pupils who feel that they are struggling with their mental health to speak to a member of staff.”