Pens and paintbrushes help provide welcome relief

It’s not only pills and prescriptions that help people in hospital – a creative arts project which has received backing from Aberdeen’s Charitable Foundation can play a part in treatment too.

Grampian Hospital Arts Trust, based at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, seeks to enhance the wellbeing of people in health care using quality art, paint, paintbrushes, pens and pencils in therapeutic activities.

A £1,000 donation from the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation will help run sessions led by professionally trained artists and supporting patients to create work when they may be dealing with some very difficult changes in their lives.

Claire Drummond

The Trust’s Artroom is a place that allows individuals to express themselves creatively with the support of artists trained specifically to work in this context. The artists encourage people to create projects and written work of their own.

Although founded over 30 years ago the Trust’s work in this area tends to be low profile, given the need for patient confidentiality.

However, it really does make a difference – having an activity that is purposeful, creative, intellectually stimulating and recognised as worthwhile by other people adds a new dimension to patient care and helps 
individuals regain control and express themselves differently.

Sally Thomson

Staff within Cornhill Old Age Psychiatry department, for example, have noticed a marked change in people experiencing dementia where other activities have failed to engage patients.

Sally Thomson, director of Grampian Hospitals Art Trust said: “We work to relieve the stress which can occur within medical environments, concentrating on what matters to the individual rather than what is the matter with them.

“This is an extremely difficult project to raise funds for due to its private and personal outcomes so we really appreciate receiving this assistance from Aberdeen.”

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving for the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation added: “The Trust’s work shows how the expressive arts can be used as part of a person’s recovery and wellbeing.

“We appreciate the difficulties the Trust has in gaining funding and are happy to provide funding that will help bring professionally trained artists to work with patients in these sessions and, we hope, bring about positive outcomes for them.”

The Aberdeen Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally, seeking partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact. Employees are encouraged to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

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