How Arts in Health has adapted during COVID-19

This year our Arts in Health program is marking its 10th year and while COVID-19 has altered the planned celebrations and activities, together with Hospital staff we have worked to ensure play, art and music are still delivered to patients. This is entirely possible thanks to the generosity of WCH Foundation donors.

Here are a few initiatives Arts in Health is proud to have introduced since the beginning of March.

Individual activity and distraction packs

Due to infection prevention measures, toys, arts and crafts supplies have been removed from parts of the Hospital. We have worked closely with the Play Therapists to create almost 400 individual activity and distraction packs for patients filled with colouring-in books, pencils, packs of cards and small games. The packs have kept children entertained and distracted, helping to alleviate the stress and anxiety they feel during Hospital visits.

“Your wonderful ongoing support during COVID-19 has allowed the Play Therapy program to provide suitable activities to the patients in the Hospital”, Marisa Salvati – Play Therapy Coordinator said.

Music Therapy

We have supported the expansion and adaption of Music Therapy services at the Hospital.

A new Music Therapy service to support babies on Rose Ward and their families has begun, and we are working on expanding this service to the neonatal nurseries.

An adapted Music Therapy program utilising telehealth has also been in place during COVID-19 and special resources were created by Music Therapist, Maybelle Swaney, to help both patients and staff. This included music-based strategies for babies and their caregivers, and a staff wellbeing resource on music for self-care.

As a health-oriented resource within the Hospital space, Music Therapy can support the emotional wellbeing of babies, children, and staff.

Two Hospital employees.

Music Therapist, Maybelle and Play Therapist, Kim.

Rainbow Connection

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the world have created rainbow artworks with the rainbow becoming a symbol of hope and togetherness as everyone navigates isolation and the uncertain times.

Arts in Health brought the rainbow to our Hospital with patients given an art pack filled with colourful pencils, paints, paper and craft materials to inspire creativity and brighten wards and corridors, connecting the Hospital community with wonderful rainbow artworks.

Rainbow connection WCHF.

Patients have enjoyed receiving rainbow art packs and creating bright artworks.

Ukulele Club

In recent months it has never been more important to stay connected whilst still adhering to social distancing.

Many have embraced technology to help this happen and at the Hospital we have done the same.

Instead of meeting in the Hospital once a week to play ukulele, our Ukulele Club created a Zoom Room to allow staff and volunteers to learn new ukulele skills and keep on jamming.

Led by tutor Chris Carr, the ukulele members have been playing songs online, sharing their enjoyment of music and the benefits it can bring, especially in these tough times.

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