A hospital rehabilitation unit got a facelift this month, thanks to artworks by students from Horsham’s Collyer’s college.
Dawn Fincham, ward manager of the Horizon unit at Horsham Hospital, contacted the Hurst Road sixth form to see if they could help brighten up the ward.
Sharon Rolfe, BTEC art and design subject leader at the College of Richard Collyer, told the County Times: “The Horizon unit is a rehabilitation unit for adults, and despite it being a lovely, sunny, clean environment, has very bare walls.
“Our 20 first year Level 3 BTEC Art students were set the brief to each create a painting to be displayed in the unit for the next year, with a view to our next cohort of first year students creating new paintings the following year.
“The emphasis on the project was to be able to soothe senses and boost wellbeing with their works of art, and hopefully speed recovery.
“Dawn approached the art department asking if there was anything we could do because there was nothing on the walls.
“It was quite pertinent to me because I lost my mum last year and spent a lot of time visiting her in hospitals.
“The students were quite overwhelmed as they didn’t realise the impact of just putting something on the walls. One patient said it was so great to be looking at something other than a bare wall. It’s been fantastic.”
In a year’s time, the next set of Collyer’s art students will be asked to create new paintings to replace this year’s.
A pleasant environment is seen as important for patients in hospital, particularly for those undergoing rehabilitation. As well as improving the patients’ state of mind, a more attractive ward is thought to encourage longer and more frequent visits from friends and relatives.
Ms Rolfe said it was ‘a project very close to my heart’ after losing her mother last year.