As part of a 3 day Festival of Thanks and Wellbeing running this week, NHS staff in north Cumbria have been getting creative through art.
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) have launched their ‘be the artist’ campaign to give NHS staff the opportunity to express themselves and showcase their talents.
NHS staff have been encouraged to submit works of art that they feel represent their feelings, perspective and experience of the pandemic over the last few months. All artwork submitted is being shared via an online art gallery.
Mr Paul Counter, Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Consultant and Clinical Director for Head & Neck Directorate at NCIC said:
“We decided to launch the “be the artist” campaign as an opportunity for our staff at the Trust to express themselves creatively.
“We know that the Trust is full of people with creative skills and artistic talent and we wanted to give staff a chance “be the artist”. Art is subjective and free and we wanted staff to create whatever they feel is an expression of the extraordinary times we are in.
“The health benefits of the creative arts are becoming more widely recognised and can have such a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health. They can and be used as a method to relax especially during times of change, stressful situations or the likes of a pandemic.”
“So far we have had a great response to the campaign with lots of creative submissions – including photographs, graphic art and poetry.
“Nature has certainly been a being a very popular choice so far. It is clear that staff are feeling more connected to nature, taking time for themselves to reflect; to enjoy the wonder of the outdoors and the pleasure it can bring. Exploring nature is so good for our physical and mental health and our stunning Cumbrian landscapes provide the perfect subject matter.
“Reflection and positivity are very present within the beautiful work that has been sent in;calming, reflective pieces that also have strong feelings of positivity joy.”
The “be the artist” campaign will continue running following the festival and will support the relaunch of the Trusts’ Healing Arts programme; a programme of art, dance, music, puppetry and poetry that takes place on wards and corridors that is available for patient’s as part of their recovery.