Planned Projects for 2021 and beyond

pARTicipate builds upon fifteen years of managing and running art and music workshops and performances for patients. We are constantly assessing the most effective ways to offer creative activities to patients and the global health Pandemic has challenged the approaches on how to best respond when the artists, musicians, volunteers and families cannot be present.

pARTicipate sets out to establish models of working that improve the patient’s environment and experience, encourages and supports social skills and increases self-esteem and confidence.

The arts more broadly can:


•             Add value to many aspects of high quality clinical care

•             Promote a sense of belonging and identity

•             Give patient’s choice and a voice in an often intimidating and confusing time

•             Support social skills and interaction


•             To improve the patient experience

•             To provide a safe, supportive environment to encourage social skills and interaction

•             To increase patient’s self-esteem and confidence

•             To introduce new skills to patients, volunteers and staff

•             To overcome barriers face by clinical staff when trying to provide creative and imaginative environments for older and younger people* (Creativity in Care Evaluation)

pARTicipate: Virtually is a practical solution to the current situation in hospitals because of the Pandemic and similar ideas have been adopted by other hospital art programmes, with the common aim to find  new ways to reach patients, and offers a greater reach and access for the future.

Our programme of artist led Artsparks and Stitch in Time workshops has been led by our two experienced resident artists, Edwina Bridgeman and Charlotte Stowell over the past ten years, this means that they are very familiar with the ward environment, including staff and many of the patients.

pARTicipate: Virtual topics have been previously tried at patient facing workshops over the years and enjoyed across age ranges and especially by our target participants, the young and older patient. All the workshops and techniques are designed to be suitable for different ages and ranges of skill. This proposal includes three preliminary examples for video themes which would be accompanied by hand drawn worksheets, or worksheets alone, and both options accompanied with good quality and imaginative materials. We propose to commission six videos, three by each artist, and before settling on these workshop themes we would run a final selection process with staff and their patients and families.

“The visiting artists are a great asset to the Children’s Ward. The weekly workshops provide a regular resource and can be accessed by all resident families. We really miss this resource during the pandemic and as play funding is tight, art packs and resources would really be a beneficial addition; your video and worksheet suggestions are all great.”

Jo, Play Specialist: Children’s Ward

pARTicipate: Art in a Bag provides single patient use arts & crafts bags, plus a selection of activity and mindfulness books that ward staff can collect from main reception and uptake in January 2021 has been positive. This is currently funded by The Friends of the RUH. 

The single bags have 2 options: sketch book, drawing materials, origami and inspiration worksheets or sketch book, knitting needles and wool.  We also have an additional supply of mini tapestries, crochet hooks and colouring books which can also be specially requested

We have also provided the Dementia Coordinators and Children’s Ward play specialists with their own stock of modelling clay and other simple creative activities tailored especially for them.

The End of Life team and The Emergency Department’s Mental Health Assessment team will also keep a stock of bags and mindfulness activity books.

The bags include a feedback form for either the staff member or the patient to complete. We have also included social media links to share pictures of any and all creations!

Dave White: Palliative Care: “I saw a patient on Respiratory Ward who was distressed. I offered to collect a Craft knitting Bag for her, she was very happy to receive this and said that the knitting especially would help to distract her from the environment and help with her anxiety and breathing. 

These new initiatives will further support the patient facing interaction that we hope to return to soon.