Artists save specialist hearing toys for Sheffield hospital

Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity's arts programme Artfelt has restored a set of 1970s toys, used for decades to test  children's hearing.
Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity's arts programme Artfelt has restored a set of 1970s toys, used for decades to test children's hearing.
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A group of artists from across the UK have helped to restore a vintage toy set used for hearing tests at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

When the set of 1970s toys became tired and unfit for purpose, hospital staff thought they could easily replace them with a new set.

However, after discovering the maker, Escor Toys, had gone out of business in 2012 – Cat Powell, the manager of the hospital charity’s arts programme Artfelt, set about restoring the figures to bring them back into use.

Cat called upon fellow artists to join the project by painting a selection of the 250 figures and creating unique designs, depicting everything from superheroes to animals.

She said: “All the artists got stuck in to the project, and came up with some impressive designs, in a range of styles.

“They used specialist paints to create a collection of engaging toys that will benefit our hearing patients for years to come.”

The characters will continue to be used in hearing tests at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where children move them in and out of a rowing boat to register sounds.

n To donate to the hospital charity’s Artfelt programme, visit www.tchc.org.uk/artfelt/donate