Participatory Arts


We enhance the hospital experience for all our patients by working with musicians, dancers, gardeners and artists to provide daily participatory arts, crafts, music and sensory sessions.

Delivered seven days a week, our participatory arts programme is based on long-term artistic residencies. All artists are commissioned in collaboration with staff and patients at all stages and delivered in a range of settings including patient’s bedsides, ward dayrooms and outpatient clinics.

We work with The Wallace Collection and Orleans House Gallery to provide interactive making and handling sessions, based on objects from their collections. In these sessions, we bring the museum experience to our patients in hospital, offering them the chance to handle historical objects.

South Asian dance company Akademi get patients moving with traditional performances on the wards, while The Rhythm Studio Foundation bring toetapping percussion workshops in which young patients and their families are invited to make music using drums, bells and other instruments.

Violinist Adrian Garratt and harpist Mark Levin regularly perform for patients of all ages, often encouraging patients to have a go at playing their instruments themselves.

Popular with patients of all ages, TheraPaws and Pets as Therapy dogs are regular visitors to our wards, providing companionship, interaction and promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.

Art collective Poetical Word run spoken word poetry workshops with our young patients, inspiring them to be creative and filling them with confidence. Artist and ceramicist Emily Hall runs reminiscence workshops with our older patients, using art and clay making to recall experiences and memories, allowing for social interaction and the chance to share stories.

To care for our older patients, especially those living with dementia, we offer daily participatory activities in both visual and performing arts which help maintain and stimulate cognitive function as well as encouraging creativity and imagination. Our regular performers include dancer Cai Tomos, who specialises in the psychological and psychosocial aspects of dance and movement.

Working in partnership with Hammersmith Community Gardening Association (HCGA), we also deliver weekly therapeutic gardening workshops in the hospital. These workshops are designed to use the natural environment to help with physical, social, emotional and psychological needs of patients.

In partnership with Concordia Foundation, our pianist-in-residence Maria Marchant plays patients’ favourite songs on the piano: a trip down memory lane. Requests range from Bach to the Beatles. Research shows music for older patients is an excellent way to improve visual awareness, focus attention, improve auditory and verbal memory and improve mood.

Andrew Hall, musician and Music and Sound Research Consultant at CW+, runs regular bedside listening sessions and percussion workshops, and collaborates with the Royal Academy of Music on a weekly music group, where postgraduate students come along to join in and gain experience of working with patients.