Young patients create art at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Brightly-coloured characters play a giant game of hide and seek on the walls of a children’s hospital after artists helped bring patients’ designs to life.

Youngsters on Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s Medical Daycare department worked with professional artists Mark Oliver and Mark Long – known as Pencil and Help – as part of a project by Artfelt, the hospital charity’s arts programme.

One of those involved was 15-year-old Bradley Allott, from Barnsley, who has been treated in the department for juvenile idiopathic arthritis since the age of four.

Mum Stephanie said: “Bradley is autistic so he’ll only do things like that if he wants to. So it must have been a really good day for him to sit and actually put things together. The art workshops bring so much to patients here.”

Bradley created the character of ‘Caroline’, who he says, is ‘a good hider’.

He added: “It’s more fun here with art on the walls. I think I’ll do more drawing when I’m here.”

Mark said creating a narrative where characters were hiding in the various alcoves and spaces of the ward was a response to the challenges of a fragmented space that is full of medical equipment.

“Working with the children was a great experience,” he said.

“Their attitude towards the project was so positive and seeing them work so hard on their character designs, as well as the weird and wonderful characters they created, really inspired us to push this project as far as we could.”