The Arts and Heritage team recognise that in order to provide great patient care, it is important to ensure we look after our staff. The staff arts programme aims to improve staff wellbeing through the delivery of a varied offer that is free and open to all staff and volunteers.
In 2019 the Culture Club was launched for UCLH staff, providing them with free and heavily discounted access to cultural events happening across London. The Culture Club has proven to be incredibly popular with staff with over 2000 members. Staff can access it on myuclh. The club has benefitted from talks, tours, theatre and exhibitions tickets from organisations including the British Museum, Royal Opera House, V&A and others. A particular highlight of 2021’s programme included a guided tour for 20 lucky staff, given by acclaimed artist Antony Gormley of his studio.
Creative Comfort is the staff arts for wellbeing programme set up in March 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 Pandemic and the significant impact on staff wellbeing. We worked with UCLH artists including origami specialist Dr Lizzie Burns, portrait artist in residence Simon Tolhurst and creative specialists Frances Newman and Fiona Deighton to create a programme of virtual offers for staff. This included origami workshops, weekly art sessions and virtual portrait sessions. We produced a colouring book ‘Colour!’ copies of which were offered to staff.
Since its inception the offer has expanded to include a variety of offers. These are:
The staff choir began in November 2020 meeting over Zoom. Now meeting in person every Thursday, the choir is a partnership with GOSH and is open to staff working in either trust. You can watch and listen to past choir performances on the UCLH YouTube Arts and Heritage playlist.
Our growing collection of donated artwork is available for staff to view and request artworks for their work areas which are installed by our team. This helps to create a calming and relaxing environment for staff and patients to spend time in, whether waiting for an appointment or having a tea break. Please get in contact with Kryssie, Arts Apprentice, for more information.
A weekly online club that ran from November 2020 – October 2021 led by artists Frances and Fiona, it created an online community where staff members learnt the basics of drawing, painting, mark making.
The Staff Art Club will be returning in 2023 with a mix of offers including a lino printing short course, monthly guest art sessions, seasonal workshops and life drawing classes.
Arts apprentice Kryssie set up the Staff Lino Printing Course, which offers a selection of staff members to learn the basics of lino printing over the course of 5 weeks. With the help of our fantastic artist volunteer Pippa Luck, we have delivered two rounds of the course to 30 staff from all across our hospitals.
In partnership with the ceramics department at University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins we have been able to offer a small group of staff the chance to attend a free pottery short course at the CSM studio. This first ran in November 2021 and will be offered to staff again in November 2023.
The first pottery course was evaluated by Dr Emily Bradfield, you can read the summary report here (include link to pottery report on reports page)