Artfelt Anywhere delivers social distancing arts programme to young patients

Published: 7-Jul-2020

Packs contain wide-ranging activities to support patients at Sheffield Children's Hospital

The coronavirus outbreak has had a widespread impact on all hospital services, including the delivery of arts projects which are known to help patient recuperation.

To address this, Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme, Artfelt, has launched Artfelt Anywhere, distributing hundreds of activity packs to young patients following a fundraising campaign to provide art experiences while their normal workshop programme remains suspended.

Delivered to patients at multiple sites across Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the packs include a wide range of activities, from drawing and colouring to virtual music activities.

Among them is an activity designed by Lois Conlan, founder of The Travelling Shadow Theatre.

Challenged by Artfelt to re-create her inclusive and playful puppetry performances in an activity pack, Conlan created a step-by-step guide to creating your very own theatre, puppets and scenery so patients can put on a show of their own.

Shadow puppetry is just one of the activities being distributed, which also include storytelling, sculpturing and textiles.

A special book designed by renowned Sheffield artist, Pete McKee, and the adventures of his beloved new dog, Eric, is also among the offering.

Artfelt manager, Cat Powell, said: “ Artfelt Anywhere has allowed us to challenge some of the hugely-talented group of artists which make up our workshop programme to replicate the same high-quality experience, but in a way that patients and their families can guide and engage with themselves.

“We are thrilled that, thanks to their ingenuity and the generous support of the public through donations, hundreds of young patients across Sheffield Children’s Hospital will now benefit from the creative joy of art during anxious moments, such as before an operation or to break up long stays on the wards.”

And, with social distancing set to be a feature of life for the foreseeable future, Artfelt is now appealing to the public for their support in helping to continue the programme, launching a Just Giving page to generate much-needed funds.

Each pack costs just £5.80 to produce, including all the materials children need to take part.

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