Health and Arts Partnership Nominated

A special working relationship between a health board and an arts organisation has been named as a finalist in the 2014 Scottish Charity Awards, for its ‘Perfect Partnership’ working.

Artlink Central and NHS Forth Valley have entered into a three year agreement to deliver arts programmes to patients across Forth Valley. This is the first such agreement of its type between a health service and an arts group and has already led to an impressive programme of workshops and events.

These include a gaming project involving children and young people, and ‘gardening art’ with elderly patients who furnished mini greenhouses which appeared in hospitals across Forth Valley. For a group of frail elderly men as well as women, the ‘make do and mend’ project ‘The Way We Wear’ brought long forgotten tailoring, cobbling and dressmaking skills to light, and put them to use in recreating l940’s and 50’s style clothing and accessories. These were exhibited in the public spaces in Forth Valley Royal Hospital, to be enjoyed by the l0,000 members of the public who visit daily.

Kevin Harrison, Director of Artlink Central, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Artlink Central has been shortlisted for a Scottish Charity Award for the work we do in partnership with NHS Forth Valley. Our participatory arts projects in healthcare settings across the Forth Valley are impacting positively on people’s health and wellbeing and are made possible by this crucial partnership between Artlink Central and NHS Forth Valley. Together we are evolving the role of Arts within Healthcare.”

NHS Forth Valley’s Charitable Arts and Wellbeing Coordinator Babs McCool added: “This partnership has brought a world of colour and creativity into many people’s lives. It was designed to give patients, particularly those finding their stay in hospital isolating and challenging, a chance to share their talents and learn new skills, supported by NHS occupational therapy staff.”

Organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Awards celebrate the crucial work of charities, community groups and individuals dedicated to making Scotland a better place to live.

Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO, commented: “Charity employees and volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty to make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people right across Scotland on a daily basis.

“These awards are an important chance to acknowledge the impact these people make and how they help to make Scotland a better place to live for everyone.”

All 30 shortlisted entries will also compete for the People’s Choice Award which will be decided by the public.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh on June 5, 2014.