Five new Arts Trails have launched at Nottingham’s NHS hospitals, for patients, visitors and staff at the City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre.
The trails, part-funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity as part of the Charity’s Arts at NUH Appeal, as well as Arts Council England National Lottery grant funding, aim to encourage patients, visitors and staff to get moving and learn more about art along the way.
Anyone wishing to follow the trails can do so using downloadable maps. Each trail covers several pieces of art displayed around the hospital sites, and also invites participants to read creative writing pieces inspired by the artworks, watch a dance film, and learn more about the art.
The Arts Trails were created by Megan Dawes, Arts Coordinator at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and Jo Mcaulay, Active Hospitals Project Lead, as a partnership project between Arts at NUH and Active Hospitals.
Megan said: “We are really pleased that the project has brought some of our hospital corridors to life through art and creativity. We have an eclectic mix of art works at our hospitals, both old and new. We feel that they add colour, interest and may provide comfort and spark conversation for our staff, patients and visitors.
“Art, creativity and movement are so important for wellbeing and we hope that having the space to engage with this in our hospitals will have a positive impact. We have already had some wonderful feedback, with people saying it is lovely to take a break and have a walk when they are not able to get outside, and a chance to ‘walk and talk’ with colleagues about the art.
“We have already received requests to have even more art, along with people interested in donating, and we certainly plan to expand this project in the future!
“This was a huge team effort so we just want to say a big thank you to our funders, Arts Council England and Nottingham Hospitals Charity and our project team, which consisted of a curator, creative writer, dance choreographer, graphic designer and event assistant, as well as a number of colleagues and departments at our hospital.”
Jo Mcaulay said: “The Arts Trails bring two core elements of wellbeing in hospital together – being physically active, and having access to visual arts. We know that both of these factors are important for both physical and mental health.
“We hope that the walks offer an opportunity to staff, visitors and patients to explore the hospital, and take a break from whatever is on their mind. The feedback we have had has been immensely encouraging, with comments about the opportunity the Arts Trails have provided for a welcome break.
“People have been active while exploring the trails, with most walking for between 15 and 30 minutes while exploring the art works. This is hugely important, as physical activity is a factor in both prevention of and recovery from illness.
“As part of our work, we engaged with patients, visitors and staff, to create new poems stories and dance pieces which are on display on the trails, and we would like to thank everyone who got involved, to help bring these pieces to life. Our project team worked tirelessly to bring our vision of the Arts Trails together. We are grateful for their input, and for the generous funding from Arts Council England and Nottingham Hospitals Charity.
To downloads the Arts Trails maps and follow them on your next visit to Nottingham’s hospitals, please visit www.nuh.nhs.uk/arts-trails
For more information about Nottingham Hospitals Charity, or to make a donation to the Arts Programme Appeal, please visit www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk/arts