Tapestries of artwork created by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex) colleagues who attended wellbeing workshops during the pandemic are now pride of place in our hospital corridors for staff, patients and visitors to admire.
The workshops were open to all staff and provided a creative space to reflect on the challenges of Covid, unwind with a five-minute hand and neck massage, and try a 15-minute art activity.This included cynotype printing, creating a blueprint on fabric using foliage picked from our hospital gardens.
The individually designed squares of fabric have now been stitched together and were unveiled at Worthing, Princess Royal, St Richard’s and the Royal Sussex County hospitals this month. Our satellite sites are now home to several canvas cynotype prints.
Teamwork at heart of tapestries
Sue Shepherd, Medical Matron at Worthing Hospital who attended one of the workshops, said: “This was at a time when staff were challenged at work. It allowed us to be able to relax, smile and be happy, without having the trauma of the wards and the work going on behind the ward doors.”
Dr George Findlay, Chief Executive, added: “It’s really wonderful to see the individual pieces joined together, and for me, this offers a perfect metaphor for the team-work we’ve demonstrated throughout these testing few years.
“We are absolutely at our best when we work together as one, and the tapestries are a visual reminder of this.”
Hear more from George as he attended the artwork unveiling at Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Behind the scenes
The workshops took place at Worthing, Princess Royal, Southlands, St Richard’s and the Royal Sussex County hospitals, as well as at Hove Polyclinic, Brighton General Hospital, Crawley Sexual Health clinic, and Park Centre for Breast Care.
Our Health and Wellbeing Team partnered with local arts charity ONCA Trust and Onward Arts to bring together the exciting programme of wellbeing activities, which was all made possible thanks to funding from our hospital charity, My University Hospitals Sussex, based on grants awarded from NHS Charities Together.
A Trust counsellor was also present at each event to provide a safe and discreet space for colleagues needing to access further wellbeing support.
Further reflections from staff who worked through the pandemic can be found on Our Covid Story website.