Art sessions provide Sheffield patients with a lasting legacy

Arts Council England, together with the Sheffield Hospitals Charity, has funded the Palliative Care Centre project, which encourages patients, their relatives, visitors and staff to take part in simple but meaningful creative activities. Pictured are Patient Norma Drabble and her daughter Natalie, who have made a mini collage and had their hands printed.
Arts Council England, together with the Sheffield Hospitals Charity, has funded the Palliative Care Centre project, which encourages patients, their relatives, visitors and staff to take part in simple but meaningful creative activities. Pictured are Patient Norma Drabble and her daughter Natalie, who have made a mini collage and had their hands printed.
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Palliative care patients are being given the opportunity to create a lasting legacy thanks to arts and crafts sessions.

Arts Council England, together with the Sheffield Hospitals Charity, has funded the Palliative Care Centre project, which encourages patients, their relatives, visitors and staff to take part in simple but meaningful creative activities.

The completed works of art, which will range from painting, writing, calligraphy, storytelling and book making, which will form a part of collective artworks displayed at the Palliative Care Unit at the city’s Northern General Hospital.

So far, patients and their families have contributed to a book with poetry about love, a notice board display with hand-made bookmarks that depict memories of summer holidays, and a wall display of prints of their favourite sun.

Jane Forster and Brian Whitmore from Redfolio are the artists behind the sessions.

Brian said: “Jane and I are finding this whole experience very moving. One of the activities we offer is to create a hand-print with family members. It was suggestion from one of the patients we worked with and we now offer this to all patients and their relatives.

“We also get to hear stories about the lives that have been lived and memories that are being passed on.

“This opportunity is giving us a real insight into the way the Palliative Care Unit operates.

“It is unique environment that enables the last moments of someone’s life to be as enjoyable as possible.”

Brian and Jane also has used the Oral History Archives which have more than 300 recordings of Palliative Care patient’s life stories to help inspire their sessions.

Jane and Brian have also asked the contributors a series of questions and their answers will be incorporated in a final artwork to be permanently displayed on the ward.

Some the main themes of the art work are love and family, recollections of holidays and memorable events. People have also been asked to use their experience of what it was like to live in Sheffield to influence their work.

To donate to Arts in Health, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/why-help-patients/arts-in-health site, email charity@shct.nhs.uk or phone 0114 226 7351.