Art therapist to bring colour and creativity to children’s ward

09 December 2019

Art therapist to bring colour and creativity to children’s ward
Imperial Health Charity has collaborated with ArtSocial Foundation in a year-long partnership to deliver art therapy within children services at St Mary’s Hospital.

From this month, St Mary’s art therapy programme will be extended to three days with the hospital’s trained and experienced art psychotherapist, Alice Patrick, thanks to generous funding from ArtSocial Foundation.

The programme will continue to provide children with an alternative type of play and creativity whilst recognising the importance of a child’s physical, emotional and social needs as a result of their hospitalisation.

Art therapy provides essential therapeutic support to young patients during an often stressful and challenging time, giving them the opportunity to explore a variety of creative art and to engage in a range of activities, including drawing, painting, clay and plastering work.

Each year, over 25,000 children arrive at St Mary’s from north west London and across the UK to receive a wide range of specialist and general care.

Through the art therapy programme, we aim to enhance and improve each child’s hospital experience and provide access to the arts. Young patients will be able to express themselves in an open and supportive environment – helping them to overcome any emotional trauma and anxiety as a result of their condition and stay.

The sessions will be run as part of our arts engagement programme, which provides creative arts activities for patients at St Mary’s and the four other London hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

We're thrilled to be working with ArtSocial Foundation to continue to deliver the Art Therapy programme at St Mary’s Hospital.

Alina Uspenskaya, Founder and Director at ArtSocial Foundation, said: “We're incredibly proud to be working with Imperial Health Charity and the exceptional children's services team at St Mary’s Hospital to expand the provision of art therapy for young patients. At ArtSocial, we are passionate about the benefits of art therapy for young people and how art can be a refuge for the feelings and emotions experienced at times of stress and trauma. We view this initiative as a long-term responsibility, with a plan to expand the programme to other London hospitals.”

Art Therapist Alice said: "Art psychotherapy in a paediatric setting provides children and young people with a safe space to process their experiences and painful feelings that are hard to engage with and talk about. It's with great thanks to ArtSocial that this service can continue to provide essential emotional support to young people and parents."

ArtSocial Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that is on a mission to use arts to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people with special needs and disabilities (SEND), life-limiting health conditions or psychological trauma.

The Foundation provides grants to grassroots and national charities in the UK and Russia that work with vulnerable children and adults through arts.

One day a week of the position continues to be co-funded by Teapot Trust and Imperial Health Charity until January 2020. We are very grateful to Teapot Trust for their support and initiation of the project.