The UCLH Arts & Heritage team recently partnered with West Dean College of Arts, Design and Conservation to offer staff the opportunity to explore their creative offerings through a series of free courses offered at the London Campus in Bloomsbury. Between March and June 2024, over 50 members of staff at UCLH NHS Foundation Trust participated in a creative course.

“The course was brilliant. It was such a lovely day and an amazing opportunity to do something more creative. I would thoroughly recommend it.”

The free courses provided an enriching experience in various mediums, including painting, drawing, printmaking, textiles, and creative writing. Participants had the opportunity to unleash their creativity, learn new skills, and engage with different art forms in a supportive and encouraging environment. For instance, a Tapestry Weaving session explored different weaving techniques such as hatching, diagonals, and the creation of simple shapes, whilst an Experimental Life Drawing class provided a platform for experimental drawing techniques and focused observations on scale and composition.

“West Dean College were very accommodating and welcoming; the space was perfect for this type of class, and everyone had a great time. It was a grounding yet liberating experience where we meditated through art and ended up with pieces of art we did not realise we could produce; it was like our own intimate gallery.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Experimental Life Drawing course at West Dean College. The teacher was really welcoming and encouraging. It was fun to try different techniques with charcoal and pencil to learn about the human form and to experiment with collage to learn about perspective. I would definitely recommend it to others.”

The feedback from the UCLH staff who participated in the courses has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to engage in these creative courses. The classes not only offered a welcome break from the demands of their jobs but also provided a therapeutic outlet and a chance for relaxation. For example, a Mark Making and Meditation course guided participants in connecting with the process of drawing through meditation, using various materials to explore expressive qualities.

“The Mark Making and Meditation course was fantastic. The tutor was excellent and led at a good pace, really understanding the needs of the group and there were no expectations other than to enjoy being in the space, which made for a lovely relaxed and free atmosphere.”

“It was a really lovely session. It helped a lot with boosting creativity and enabled me to have renewed energy for the upcoming work-week. I would definitely love to join one again in the future.”

We would like to thank West Dean College and their team at the London Bloomsbury Campus for making these creative courses available to staff. We believe that the arts and creativity play an invaluable role in promoting well-being. If you would like further information about West Dean College, please click the link here.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the day! The tutor’s energy is infectious and got me inspired to draw and move. I definitely would want to attend if there are more days like this in the future. Thank you for the opportunity!”

If you are interested in collaborating on a similar initiative with UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, please email

About UCLH Arts & Heritage

UCLH Arts & Heritage is the hospital arts and heritage project that serves UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and its surrounding community and is funded entirely by charitable donations and fundraising. UCLH Arts & Heritage is committed to providing a welcoming, uplifting environment for all patients, visitors and staff through the use of a varied and stimulating arts and heritage programme. Its work aims to improve the patient experience, boost staff morale, increase engagement with the arts and celebrate the Trust’s unique heritage and community. 

Since 2005, UCLH  has worked to improve patient and staff outcomes through the Arts. It does this in a number of ways, including a changing exhibition and music programme, creative workshops on wards, artist residencies, commissioning site-specific artwork, and a staff culture club. UCLH arts and heritage receives its funding from UCLH Charity and the Friends of UCLH. 


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