NHS Trust charity partners with National Portrait Gallery to provide creative workshops for patients

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity, CW+, has partnered with the National Portrait Gallery to launch a new arts and mindfulness initiative during Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Mindful Drawing virtual workshops are a new series aimed at children and young people, and are designed to encourage patients to take time out and relax through artistic activities.

The collaboration is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospital Programme, which promotes wellbeing through arts in health.

Available in a video format, the short film tutorials can be viewed through the charity’s online arts platform, Virtual Connections, which can be accessed by patients via the CW+ website or 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.”

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, added: “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.”

According to the CW+, the creative workshops were co-created with artist educators and are inspired by sitters from the National Portrait Gallery Collection, including Beatrix Potter, Satish Kumar, Richard Long, Barbara Ward and Vivienne Westwood.

The project is an arm of the CW+ Arts for All programme, which the charity transformed to run digitally during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as Leading Healthcare reported recently, CW+ has now been able to open its new in-person patient arts studio at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.