Local art students brighten children’s ward at Weston General Hospital

Young patients receiving treatment at Weston General Hospital’s children’s ward will have their day brightened thanks to some colourful murals painted by local students.

A treatment room in Seashore Centre received the makeover by level one art and design students at Weston College who were asked to create paintings that could help children feel more relaxed when visiting the hospital. 

The students created paintings depicting scenes from children’s favourite books and films, including Peter Pan, the Lion King and Baymax, from Big Hero 6.

Impressed with their work, the project has been extended for another year with college students asked to return to create more paintings to be displayed in the children’s ward.

Julia Marker, Ward Sister of the Seashore Centre, is delighted with the impact of paintings and says: “We wanted to bring some colour and fun into the ward and also find a way for local art students to express their talents in a new environment.

“Having art in the children’s ward is of benefit to the children and it is a great distraction to those who might be nervous when visiting our ward for treatment. 

“It’s great to see children who visit us excitedly exploring the paintings looking for characters that they recognise – they love looking at them. We’re now looking forward to working with next year’s students.”

Emma Nicholson teaches Art and Design at Weston College and was fundamental in establishing the partnership between the hospital and college that brought this project to life. 

Emma adds: “This project has been wonderful for both Weston College students and staff. It has been a privilege to visit the children’s ward on a number of occasions and we have always been given such a warm welcome by the lovely staff. 

“The students have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has been a great opportunity for them to build confidence and self-esteem. All the students who have participated have shown creativity, teamwork and great community spirit and they should be incredibly proud of creating art that local children, parents and staff can enjoy.” 

Ryan Gallivan, art and design student at Weston College, said: “I chose to paint transformers and Beymax as they appeal to both younger children and older teenagers. I have enjoyed the project a lot, especially the visits to the ward.” 

Ellie Sparey, another student at the college, adds: “I really enjoyed being part of this project. Before we started the paintings we spent a lot of time talking about what children like and researching children’s stories to get ideas. 

“I got inspiration from the seaside colours of Weston’s front for one of my paintings. I also painted a water Pokémon to tie in with the seaside theme. It’s really nice to see the art work displayed in the ward – I hope the children enjoy them.”