Project information

Art on Children's Hospital Wards

We work with disadvantaged, critically ill children on London hospital wards to create unique art projects, giving them an opportunity to speak creatively about their conditions and treatments. Each project will culminate in a public display at the Foundling Museum.

February 2018 - September 2019

Charity information: The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum logo
  • Need


    Children on hospital wards across London are critically ill and some are in isolation. Often they are in hospital for long stretches of time, away from their friends, their extended family and school life. This can lead to feelings of lonelieness and helplessness, and also leaves little time for art, creativity and imagination, which are all such vital parts of growing up.


    Our annual projects bring a trained artist to a ward to meet with the children and parents, engaging them in creative ways to express their hopes, dreams and concerns. Each project links in with the Foundling Museum's current exhibition, so the children can learn as they create their artwork, which often helps them communicate how they are feeling to the hospital staff. The Museum holds a private view of the final display for the families so the children can proudly see their work on the wall.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reach 40 critically ill children, plus their families, and engage them in creating personal art.


    » To employ a trained artist to go to hospital wards annually, meet with children and families, and undertake fun, inspiring art activities

    What success will look like

    We will track numbers of participants who take part and will follow up, getting feedback from parents, children and medical professionals to gauge impact.

    Aim 2

    To put on a display at the Foundling Museum for each of the two art projects.


    » We will work with the children to create a cohesive project, featuring their artwork and inspired by their experiences and hopes for the future.

    What success will look like

    By working with the children on the ward to create a cohesive display of their artwork around a theme. Children and their families will be invited to an out of hours private view.

  • Impact


    We hope that the children will gain mental respite during their treatment and continue to engage with art and culture. Children and their families are encouraged to come and visit the display once they are able. We will also engage with medical staff, who have previously noted that the projects not only bring light relief to the wards, but also allow children to communicate effectively and uniquely about their conditions.


    Because of the critical natures of the children's conditions, it can be difficult for the artist. The artist we have worked with previously, and would use again, is fully trained and prepared for the circumstances she would be working in. We also work closely with the medical team at the hospital to ensure there are no health risks to the children, the artist or Museum staff.


    We compile comprehensive reports on each project, including quotes and pictures of both the artwork in progress and the final display. Donors are also welcome to visit the displays, which are up in the Museum for at least three months each.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,600 Artist fees - sessions 18 art sessions with critically ill children
      £2,800 Artist fees - other Preparation, post-production, installation of display, workshop with medical staff
      £2,300 Education Coordinator Salary for coordinating and overseeing full project
      £570 Art materials Materials for the children to create their artwork
      £230 Display installation Costs of installing artwork display at the Foundling Museum
  • Background


    The project will take place on hospital wards in London; the exact wards are TBC. However given the nature of the city and hospitals within it, each project will reach children from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds.


    Over the course of the year we aim to engage 40 children, ranging from babies to teenagers, and their parents. These families come from all over London and possibly beyond, and from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds. The medical teams will also benefit from hearing from the children through their artwork. Additionally, the Museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors each year, the majority of whom will be able to see one of the displays and read about the ideas behind it.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have previously run this project at Great Ormond Street Hospital for three years with great success. We have experience of engaging the entire family and medics in the art project and with the background of the Museum. The Museum is also able to display the children's art, so they are able to come and see their work on the walls at an appropriate time for them, which can be very thrilling.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Davina Drummond

    Davina is a practising artist who has worked on the GOSH project before. She creates a strong sense of community and creativity within the wards.

    Emma Middleton

    Emma works at the Museum. She coordinates the projects, liaises with the hospital team and ensures the projects and displays run smoothly.


It was wonderful to witness the spread of the project jokes around the ward... by the time we left a strong community amongst the parents had grown.