Mural central to hospital garden

Pictured next to the new mural at Wansbeck General Hospital are representatives from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Groundwork North East & Cumbria, Buzz Learning and AkzoNobel and artist Isla Haddow. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Pictured next to the new mural at Wansbeck General Hospital are representatives from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Groundwork North East & Cumbria, Buzz Learning and AkzoNobel and artist Isla Haddow. Picture by Jane Coltman.

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A new bright and colourful nature mural is now in place at Wansbeck General Hospital.

Led by charity Groundwork North East & Cumbria, the project was carried out by volunteers, community groups, school pupils and education providers Buzz Learning.

Made up of a central butterfly motif with stylised spring flowers, the visual artwork forms the perfect backdrop for a community garden that includes an array of flowers, colourful nature mosaics and an outdoor seating area, which allows Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff, patients and members of the public to take time out and relax in a peaceful setting.

The mural was the result of different groups working to produce original drawings that were combined by graphic designer Geoff Jones to produce a finished design.

Ian McMinn, non-executive director of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and chairman of its charitable funds committee, which funded the community garden, 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.”

The mural initiative was funded and supported by international paint company AkzoNobel – its brands include Dulux – HSS Hire in Ashington and bait, which is funded by Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council to engage local people in high quality and inspiring arts experiences.

It followed the official opening of the community garden earlier in the year.

Lisa Blaney, bait’s arts for health manager, 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 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 added: “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.”

A mural celebration event for staff, young people and volunteers took place at the hospital last Friday.

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

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