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Inspire me - 15 September 2017

Harnessing the Healing Power of Art

We’re delighted to announce that Imperial Health Charity will be the official charity partner for our Battersea fair this October. Supporting the five hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the charity manages a hospital art collection, runs a creative participation programme for patients, and organises gallery visits and workshops through a Staff Arts Club. We spoke to Lucy Zacaria, the charity’s Head of Arts, to find out more about the important role that the arts can play in improving patient care.

How can the arts benefit patients during their time in hospital?

Creativity helps us stay well, recover faster, manage long-term conditions and experience an overall better quality of life. Bringing the arts into the hospital environment can lead to better health outcomes for patients and provide support to hospital staff on the wards.

Bedside workshops break the cycle of treatment, rest and recuperation for people staying in hospital, while ‘arts on prescription’ – where patients are referred directly to community arts initiatives – has led to a reduction in hospital admissions by almost a third.

What work does the charity do to support the arts in healthcare?

Imperial Health Charity aims to change the way the hospital environment is experienced, to transform what can be a clinical and intimidating space into one that is bright, uplifting and where visual art is promoted for the enjoyment of all.

The charity runs an extensive arts participation programme, including bedside and communal workshops for patients, and a Staff Arts Club for members of Trust staff. We manage one of London’s leading hospital art collections, with more than 2,000 colourful artworks displayed in hallways, wards and waiting rooms across the Trust’s five hospitals.

We also work closely with galleries, museums and individual artists to bring artworks and artefacts into the hospital environment for patients who are unable to leave the wards.

What impact does this work have on patients and hospital staff?Imperial Health Charity

By promoting good practice and innovation in all aspects of art in the healthcare setting, we aim to expand the way art is experienced and to encourage people to broaden their understanding of art and creativity.

Patients tell us that they feel valued and appreciated after engaging with our arts programmes, taking ownership of their creativity at a time when they are reliant on others for essential care and support. Creating art is life-affirming and nourishing for patients, offering them an opportunity for stimulation and helping to take their minds off of the seriousness of their illness.

Our Staff Arts Club gives members of Trust staff the chance to experience galleries, engage with the arts and flourish in a working environment enhanced by works from our collection.

What will the charity be doing at the fair?

Imperial Health Charity will be at the heart of the fair throughout the week, demonstrating how the arts can play a key role in hospital care.

We’ll be showcasing our creative participation programme, featuring demonstrations from the Paper Birch team behind our arts workshops for dementia patients. The images on display at our stand will include some of the beautiful artworks patients have created during their time in hospital, alongside pieces by established artists chosen from our collection. We are also delighted to be organising a special ‘In Conversation’ event with Professor Roger Kneebone, from Imperial College London, on the link between art and medicine.

Make sure you come and find us during the fair to buy one of our unique tote bags, specially made for this event and featuring original artworks by David Shrigley. All the money we raise from the sale of the tote bags and from ticket sales for the Charity Private View will go straight back to supporting our arts programmes.

Interested in learning more about the arts in healthcare? Find more information about Imperial Health Charity’s art collection and audience engagement programme here.

Book your tickets now for the Charity Private View, Wednesday 18 October, in support of Imperial Health Charity »

Header and body images: Photography supplied by Imperial Health Charity. 

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