A Bradford teenager discovered a new passion for art as she learnt to battle her anxiety during lockdown.

Edie Pilkington, a pupil at Tong Leadership Academy, began to suffer from anxiety after she was separated from friends and her normal school life during lockdown.

Faced with months of disruption, loneliness and boredom, the inspiring 14 year-old decided to look for a positive way to cope with her anxiety.

The brave teen found that drawing on her face helped to relieve her anxious thoughts. Soon Edie spent hours scouring social media looking for inspiration, experimenting with new materials and practising her new talent. What began as a casual activity soon became a fully-fledged artistic talent for body art.

Now Edie is sharing her experience to help others who might be struggling during the pandemic.

She 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 was recently praised by Bradford born make-up artist, Ellis Atlantis, winner of the Netflix TV make up competition – ‘Glow Up.’

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.”

Edie hopes to continue her studies so that she can one day take up a place at Leeds Art University.