Art therapy grant raises spirits at Southampton Children's Hospital during coronavirus outbreak

Southampton Children’s Hospital have secured a grant totalling £6,000 from members-only organisation The Circles of Art, a not-for-profit organisation set up to provide funding to galleries, museums and children with chronic conditions. 

The funding will be released in three instalments of £2,000 per year over the next three years. The first payment has been issued immediately to help raise the spirits of paediatric patients with chronic conditions currently in isolation at the hospital due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The money will be used to fund art based therapy which is helping the children get through this difficult time. 

Arvind Nagra, consultant paediatric nephrologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital, was instrumental in securing the funding. She said: “We are extremely grateful to The Circles of Art for this donation.

"We use art based therapy as a way of connecting with our young patients and helping them cope with their condition and any trauma they may have experienced as a result. We are finding that it is essential at the moment to find more creative ways to engage the children as they are now dealing with the additional stress of being in isolation, at home or in hospital, as well as the anxiety associated with the coronavirus outbreak.

“The funding will allow us to implement more initiatives to help our patients manage their emotions during these unprecedented times.” 

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Arvind added: “We have a fantastic and very creative team here at Southampton Children’s Hospital and we feel it’s important to share ideas and initiatives with the wider community. We’re all in this together!” Some of the projects the team are currently working on (which will use part of the funding) include virtual therapy, pebble painting and Jenga art. PEEER project youth workers, Ellie Petrie and Sarah Shameti, are planning to roll out projects nationally by running a competition for other children with long term conditions which will be judged by The Circles of Art and 13-year-old Lily Shanley; the inspiration behind the Jenga art project. 

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Spokesman for The Circles of Art Philip Hudson expressed how thrilled they are to be involved in the art therapy projects.

He said: “At this very difficult time, we are especially happy to provide financial assistance to the art therapy initiatives being delivered by Southampton Children’s Hospital. By committing The Circles of Art to a three-year funding we hope that this will enable them to explore other creative facilities more freely.”

Posted on Friday 29 May 2020