Call to bring art to the forefront of city’s £40m children’s hospital

A MAJOR PROJECT to bring art to the forefront of a £40m children’s hospital redevelopment has been launched.

Artfelt, an arts for health programme, is currently seeking expressions of interest for art objects to be installed on a new wing built at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield.

Cat Powell, who manages the scheme and has a background in art psychotherapy, said hospital art is more than a statement of style – it can promote healing.

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She said: “Presentation of a space in hospital puts you in mind of how you will be treated in that space. If the space isn’t up to scratch, it gets people on edge and anxious.

“We want spaces to reflect the care seen on the wards, we want to take their minds off waiting. Children want to have something they can interact with, and create talking points with their families.

“It isn’t saving lives, but it does have a huge impact on their emotional wellbeing, and that is known to speed up recovery.”

The launch comes after Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman John Whittingdale called on the Arts Council to devote more of its funding to projects outside the capital.

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Ms Powell added: “There is so much quality work going on with arts for health in the North, and all patients deserve the same access to the arts while they are in hospital. We want to rival anything going on in the field in the capital, and with this project we can. We just need the funding so our children can get better more quickly, in an environment that is conducive to that.

“What we are doing is a hugely ambitious project. It is the biggest development the hospital has done to date, and gives us a blank canvas.”

Expressions of interest for three commissions for the design, manufacture and installation of artwork are now being taken. For more information on the specifications and budgets, visit

To support The Children’s Hospital Charity, which is funding Artfelt, go to