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UCLH staff choir September 2021

Creative comfort programme offers respite for UCLH staff

Home News Creative comfort programme offers respite for UCLH staff

The Creative Comfort programme was launched by the UCLH Arts and Heritage team to provide staff with some much needed respite at the height of the pandemic - and it's going from strength to strength. 

The programme was funded by UCLH Charity along with a grant from NHS Charities Together and offers a range of creative clubs to improve and enhance staff wellbeing, including a weekly choir, origami sessions and an art and culture club. Staff are welcomed by inclusive facilitators, and sessions are aimed at all levels, be it beginner, intermediate or expert. 

To ensure that the programme was meeting the needs of staff, an independent evaluation was conducted in August 2021.  It found that:

  • 78% enjoyed the session a great deal/a lot
  • 86% said that it provided respite from their job
  • 100 % said they felt more relaxed after the session

In terms of impact, the programme had the following perceived benefits:

  • 26.4% experienced improved mental health
  • 25.7% developed new skills/interests
  • 18.2% developed social relationships

“A lifeline” is a film which opens the stories of participants who have benefited from attending the Staff Arts sessions. The film is made by artist, writer, filmmaker and UCL research fellow, Lorna Collins. We hear UCLH staff members’ thoughts and reactions to their participation in these groups. As one person says: ‘These choir sessions are a lifeline.’  View the film here

Post pandemic, pre-winter, staff are in need of well-being support more than ever.  With 97% of participants stating that it was very important for the activities to continue, the Creative Comfort programme activities are planned to continue and evolve; in September the staff choir met face to face for the first time - see the film below.

UCLH Arts and Heritage is funded by UCLH Charity and the Friends of UCLH.

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