Launching creative workshops for young patients with the National Portrait Gallery

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are launching a new series of mindful drawing workshops with the National Portrait Gallery, created for young patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The new films are aimed at children and young people and were created with the Gallery’s artist educators. The videos encourage patients to take five minutes to relax and focus on a mindful drawing activity, inspired by five sitters from the National Portrait Gallery Collection – Beatrix Potter, Satish Kumar, Richard Long, Barbara Ward and Vivienne Westwood.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our participatory arts programme Arts for All has been adapted into Virtual Connections, our online arts platform, which is accessible to patients on the CW+ website and on Hospedia bedside screens.

Trystan Hawkins, Director of Patient Environment at CW+ said: “We are delighted to partner with the National Portrait Gallery to provide this new, creative content for our patients as part of our rich visual and performing arts programme. Mindfulness and wellbeing are increasingly important and we’re thrilled to be able to offer new and innovative ways to holistically support our patients.”

This new partnership is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospital Programme, which supports health, wellbeing and happiness through arts in health programming inspired by portraits and stories from the Gallery’s Collection. The extension of the programme to include Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been made possible by renewed support from Delancey and their new Earls Court based business, The Earls Court Development Company.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to extend the reach of our creative arts provision in children’s hospitals across London and we are extremely grateful to Delancey for their renewed support, which will allow us to continue this vital work.

“At a time when many children in hospital have been bed bound and restricted to only one visitor for months, providing patients with the opportunity to engage with art and creativity has never been more important. We are pleased to have been able to continue to run our workshops through remote sessions and digital resources, which make a positive contribution to young people’s health and wellbeing during this challenging time.”