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Trust hosts art in healthcare event

11th December 2023

From left James Gilpin , Stroke Service Improvement Lead, Dr Gerry Millar MBE, Gerard Leddy, Service Lead for Palliative Care and Naoimh McGlone, Service Improvement Lead for Dementia.


An event was hosted by the Southern Trust recently highlighting the benefits of the arts in healthcare.

The event, which was held at the Craigavon Civic Centre, was a collaboration between the Trust dementia, stroke and palliative care services and the programme included live music, poetry, dance performances and storytelling.

The artistic works of Piotr Modrzejewski also featured. He had embraced art as a therapy, creating an amazing portfolio of paintings and drawings and was under the care of the district nurse and specialist palliative care teams in the Trust, when he sadly passed away in June 2022.

Over 100 staff attended the event and a number of display stands were also available, offering advice and information from a range of groups including Arts Care NI, Dementia NI, the Bluestone Unit in Craigavon Area Hospital and the Southern Trust artist in residence, namely Eddie Rafferty.

“The arts can make a significant contribution to improving the lives, health and wellbeing of our service users and carers,” explained Gerard Leddy, Specialist Palliative Care Service Lead.

“It can be an outlet for self-expression and communication, reduce anxiety and can help manage the complex emotions of those diagnosed with palliative care needs, Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

Brian Beattie, Director of Adult Community Services added:

“In the Trust we continue to work and develop our Arts for Health Strategy. We have three dedicated artists in residence working across our Trust settings and throughout our facilities. The arts are used to enhance our working environments and improve the experience of patients, visitors and staff.

“Art is integrated into any new buildings across our estate and exhibitions of work produced by patients and our clients take place throughout the year and pieces are displayed in Trust buildings.