As our current arts activities programme is on hold due the Covid-19 crisis, we are putting together a menu of activities to do at home or in hospital. Have a look at our first nature colouring-in pack created by arts coordinator Mir Jansen and people from the Bamford community in the Peak District National Park. Read and download here

ARTS@STH work with a variety of artists and arts organisations to help us to achieve our objective of improving the experience and wellbeing of our patients and staff. We are part of the National Performance and Advisory Group (NPAG) – Arts, Design and Heritage in Hospitals network. In collaboration with NPAG, funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and produced by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust and Culture Weston, we are now offering our first Summer Edition Boredom Buster.  This 48-page newspaper is jam packed with articles, puzzles, creative activities and games to improve the mood of our patients in hospital. To order these for your ward, contact with the number of copies you require, a point of contact and the name and location of your ward.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has had an arts programme since the 1990s. It is currently managed by two part-time arts coordinators and an arts activities officer who look after the hospital improvement and patient engagement programme.

We offer a varied programme of creative activities for the benefit of our patients. We focus on wards where we have a high percentage of elderly patients, and patients with dementia. We offer a monthly music programme with musicians from Music in Hospitals and Care and Brightside. We also provide weekly arts activities sessions and some dance/movement groups.

We work closely with arts & crafts volunteers and general ward volunteers who engage patients in conversation and arts & crafts activities to relieve boredom, improve mood and reduce levels of anxiety. They have access to a range of materials including our popular ‘Activities Pack‘.

Arts & Crafts on the Wards

We provide weekly arts & crafts sessions for 9 wards with long-stay patients. Sheffield Hospitals Charity funded the activity boxes which are filled with a range of interesting arts materials. With the assistance of a dedicated team of volunteers, the arts activities officer delivers the sessions tailored to each patient group, and the volunteers collect valuable patient/visitor feedback afterwards.

We mainly work with small groups of patients in day rooms but where needed, we can provide activities for patients to engage with at their bedsides.  All our volunteers receive training and support from the volunteer services team, arts coordinator and activities officer to ensure they learn to carry out their roles with confidence.

Music Sessions


We work with music charity Music in Hospitals to provide us with a wide range of professional musicians who come to play on our wards. All musicians have been carefully selected and are trained to encourage patient participation.

We had a lovely day today with lots of positive interactions with patients, staff and visitors. It’s nice when staff understand and support the work. On Brearley Ward there was a lovely nurse who came into bays and sang holding hands with patients. A physio also was pleased when a gentleman had a bit of a hip wiggle to the music walking back to his bed with his walking frame.” (Holly Marland, musician from Music in Hospitals)

Familiar songs and melodies from past times can have a calming effect on patients, particularly patients with dementia who can often feel anxious and isolated in unfamiliar surroundings. Patients are encouraged to sing and dance along to the music. The concerts are often lively, happy events, enjoyed by patients, visitors and staff alike.

We also work with community interest company Brightside Music, founded by Aisling Holmes and Rebecca Eden-Green, who regularly play for our Outpatients at Weston Park Cancer hospital and Stroke patients at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. We are looking to trial a monthly ‘Lullaby Hour’ with Brightside Music at Jessops due to the proven soothing effect lullaby music has on babies and their very tired mums.

It is a good idea to have live music in the waiting room area. It lightens the mood of the area and makes the stress of waiting for a consultation easier to cope with.” (patient at Weston Park Cancer Hospital)

Our music programme is funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity.