Current projects

In & Out of Hospital Arts Programme: Phase 2

Joint-funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and Arts Council England

In February 2020, we received £120K funding from Arts Council England and Sheffield Hospitals Charity to continue our programme with three new projects.

Our Staff Art Club, launched in September 2021, provides staff with the fantastic opportunity to take part in online guided workshops led by professional artists. To date, the workshops have been in lino printing, ceramic mask making, mosaic, jewellery and metalwork, and creative writing. The resulting artwork produced by staff is regularly exhibited in the Trust’s own Seven Hills Gallery. Prose and poetry created during the creative writing workshops, delivered by award-winning poet, writer and performer Genevieve Carver, will be published in our first anthology in October 2022. More Staff Art Clubs are planned.

The aim of our Voice Works project was to help patients suffering with Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction, a condition that affects the voice box. Workshops were led by expert voice coach Dr. Michael Bonshor who taught singing, breathing and posture techniques to give people with this condition more confidence using their voice. A composition of voice sounds have been turned into a podcast and performance to be staged at the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind on 23 September 2022 with external funding support from University of Sheffield’s Knowledge Exchange and Festival of the Mind.

In 2022, we delivered an online Creativity Café, which is aimed at young people with a life-long relationship with our hospitals. This virtual creative learning space brought young people together to learn how to design wearable badges, which were reproduced and shared among all participants.

Past projects

In & Out of Hospital Arts Programme: Phase 1

In November 2016, we were successful with an Arts Council England application receiving an award of £80,000, which was generously match-funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity, to support our artist-in-residence programme, ‘In & Out of Hospital’. The first project began in January 2017 and saw many of our in- and outpatients benefitting from enjoyable workshops led by creative professionals.

  1. Mosaic, copper embossing, and weaving workshops
  2. Creative sessions for palliative care patients
  3. Music workshops for hearing impaired outpatients
  4. Art workshops for stroke patients

1. Mosaic, copper embossing, and weaving workshops

A trio of craftspeople from Yorkshire Artspace were selected to work with patients from the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre at the Northern General Hospital. Coralie Turpin (mosaics), Jason Turpin-Thomson (copper embossing), and Seiko Kinoshita (weaving) took turns to deliver weekly creative skills workshops, teaching patients new techniques and supporting them to create small artworks. These pieces went on display in the Millennium Gallery between June–September 2018 where some 90,000 people were able to see them.

The final artwork from this project is on permanent display at the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre at the Northern General Hospital.

2. Creative sessions for palliative care patients

Brian Whitmore and Jane Forster from Wigan-based arts collaborative Redfolio, ran weekly creative sessions with palliative care patients from the Macmillan Palliative Care Unit at the Northern General Hospital. They used recurring themes from over 300 archived stories from former patients recorded by the University of Sheffield’s ‘Oral History Project’. Personal anecdotes of work, places, love, memories, holidays and more, formed the starting point for a series of short, meaningful creative activities with and for patients and their relatives. The project was selected for Festival of the Mind ‘Futurecade 2018’ that took place between 20–30 September 2018 at the Millennium Gallery, where over 9,000 people visited the exhibition. 

The final artwork is installed at the MacMillan Palliative Care Centre at the Northern General Hospital. On display are 20 framed handprints and 2 large handprints in light boxes, each featuring snippets of the participant’s life story running along the hand lines. The handprints are those of patients, relatives and close friends, as well as members of staff. The hands and messages represent the importance in relationships of touch and listening. 

3. Music workshops for hearing impaired outpatients

In 2018, we commissioned composer, musician and experienced workshop leader Thomas Sherman to work with hearing impaired outpatients. We worked in close partnership with University of Sheffield’s Department for Music who kindly provided their rehearsal space and a range of musical instruments free of charge. 20 hearing impaired patients worked together in small groups to create a variety of new musical compositions. You can listen to some of the recorded music here.

In March 2019, patients performed their original pieces of music in front of a live audience at BLOC Projects in the centre of Sheffield. Audiences were encouraged to bring and use instruments so they could participate in the performance. Patients were introduced to the concept of ‘graphic scores’ which they created to help facilitate the process of composing and performing music. These graphic scores were made into large paintings and displayed during the live performance to show how signs can be translated into sound.

The Graphic scores have been translated into paintings and are now permanently installed in the Hearing Services Department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

The University of Sheffield produced a short video where you can watch patients talking about how valuable it was for them to engage with music despite either not being able to hear at all, or hear as well as they once could.

A final closing event was held in the Department of Audiology and Hearing Services where we showed the film for the first time to participants, members of staff, patient governors, and Sheffield Hospitals Charity staff.

4. Art workshops for stroke patients

In October 2018, we started our final project with Manchester-based artist Elisa Artesero working with stroke patients in our recently-opened Stroke Pathway Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC). Elisa ran weekly workshops for small groups of patients using a range of drawing, writing and mark-making skills and tools, using flowers as inspiration. Patients were encouraged to visualise and verbalise their creative abilities and to practice their fine motor and cognitive skills in a relaxed, safe environment. Work created by the participants was photographed, digitally enhanced and installed at the Centre. We also produced a commemorative mug for the project that is for sale at the Sheffield Hospitals Charity Hub at the Northern General Hospital.


In October 2018, we received the Patients’ Choice Award at the national Building Better Healthcare Awards for our In & Out of Hospitals programme. Arts Coordinators Mir Jansen and Danielle Parker-Jessop (pictured) went to London to pick up the award.

‘We are incredibly proud of everyone who has taken part and want to thank our funders, staff, artists, and partners for all the support they have given us.’

arts in health

The Arts in Health team relies on the goodwill of our dedicated team of volunteers. We also regularly work with professional artists and musicians on a variety of creative projects across the Trust.