Mural brings a splash of colour to hospital garden

David Thompson of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Stuart Jones of Groundwork NE & Cumbria, Paul Mavin from Buzz Learning and  Alex Wardle from AkzoNobel with the mural at Wansbeck Hospital. Picture by Jane Coltman
David Thompson of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Stuart Jones of Groundwork NE & Cumbria, Paul Mavin from Buzz Learning and Alex Wardle from AkzoNobel with the mural at Wansbeck Hospital. Picture by Jane Coltman

A colourful mural is brightening up hospital life for patients, staff and visitors.

Made up of a central butterfly motif with stylised spring flowers, the mural forms the perfect backdrop for the community garden at Wansbeck General Hospital.

The gardens, which also includes an array of flowers, nature mosaics and outdoor seating, allows Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff, patients and members of the public to take time out and relax.

The project, led by local charity Groundwork NE & Cumbria, was carried out by volunteers, community groups and education providers Buzz Learning and Astley Community High School. Drawings were combined by graphic designer Geoff Jones to produce the finished design.

As part of the project, 16 young people were able to acquire skills in painting and decorating and working together as a team. It was funded and supported by paint company AkzoNobel, HSS Hire in Ashington and bait, which is funded by Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council.

Lisa Blaney, arts for health manager from bait, said: “We’ve worked in partnership to enable local people to get involved in creating and taking part in an inspiring art project.

“This has included supporting local emerging artist Isla Haddow who, in her role as a creative connector, has encouraged more people to get involved. She has also achieved a new PASMA qualification to allow her to complete the work.”

Isla said: “It has been a lot of work, but the overall result will hopefully lift the spirits of those that use the hospital’s services well into the future.”

Jeff Hope, head of AkzoNobel Ashington manufacturing unit, said: “We are thrilled that we could contribute to the Wansbeck Hospital Mural Project by donating the paint required to complete the mural.

“We look forward to the unveiling of the mural and seeing the benefits it will give to all hospital staff, patients and visitors.

“Donating paint to this project is the latest in a series of community relationships the firm is building in the area.”

Ian McMinn, non-executive director of Northumbria Healthcare and chairman of its charitable funds committee, said: “This has been a special project for our Bright charity, working in partnership with local companies to get the community involved in painting and gardening.

“Our staff and patients enjoy being able to get out into the fresh air whenever they can. The mural and garden are enjoyable and healthy therapy for everyone.”

Project officer Stuart Jones, at Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “I’m thrilled that the mural will stand as an artwork in its own right, which has been made possible through the generosity and support of local businesses, groups and volunteers.

“I hope it brightens up people’s day and they gain a lot of pleasure from it.”