Impact Reports

Theatre for Children in Hospital. The Gift of Compassion.

I am delighted to share the news about the recent publication of my new book 'Theatre for Children in Hospital. The Gift of Compassion" (Intellect, December 15th 2016) with the IHHN members. The book presents a 5-year theatre research study with children and their families in hospitals in W. Midlands in the U.K. Detailed examples of everyday artistic practice in hospital, vibrant dialogues between children as audiences and actors as visitors in the medical world, incidents of breath-taking theatrical experiences in children's wards (paediatrics, cardiac, oncology and intensive care units) and, evidence of the impact of bedside theatre on child emotional and social wellbeing during their stay in hospital make this book unique. Now that I am reading it, I feel that I have been truthful to myself while writing it. I also feel that I represent the truths of my actors, volunteers and audiences, including children, their families, nursing staff and arts managers in hospitals. Of course, I may be biased and therefore, I would love to hear from you, the readers, about your impressions, views, and opinions. My contact is p.sextou@newman.ac.uk 

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Imagined Landscapes - Performance and composition residency with Firefly Burning and rb&hArts;, Royal Brompton Hospital, Jan – March 2013

This narrative appears with additional quotes and pictures on the Case Studies section of our website: http://www.rbht.nhs.uk/about/arts/about-us/case-studies/

Aims

To engage people spending time on the adult surgical wards at Royal Brompton Hospital in a songwriting process, resulting in new musical material and culminating in the public performance and recording of this material. By providing the opportunity to work alongside professional musicians, rb&hArts aimed not only to relieve some of the stress and boredom of the hospital environment, but to facilitate the creation of high-quality compositions, sensitively incorporating participants’ creative input.

During this project, Firefly Burning worked in two distinct ways: performance, and composition. Both were intended to be as interactive as possible. One of the key aims was to experiment with these different ways of working to discover which was the most valuable in the hospital environment.

rb&hArts’ annual music programme funded the project, which served as a pilot for a longer music residency that would require dedicated project funding.

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One Step at a Time, by Emily Allchurch and rb&hArts; - a visual art commission for Royal Brompton Hospital

One Step at a Time was inspired and funded by the family and friends of Andrew James, a long term adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patient to whose memory the work is dedicated. After Andrew’s death in 2007, his family chose to put money from his memorial fund towards commissioned works of art for the ward on which he spent so much time. The project took place in 2011-12.

This narrative appears with additional quotes and images on the Case Studies section of our website:
http://www.rbht.nhs.uk/about/arts/about-us/case-studies/

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'Performing Bedside for Children in Hospital'

Bedside Theatre for hosptialiszed children is a 2 year practice-based research developed within Newman University Drama Department, CADLab. It is being undertaken at Birmingham Children's Hospital, NHS Trust, on the impact of bedside theatre performance on hospitalised children's well-being. It examines the process of creating theatre for children who suffer from cancer and cardiac problems, connecting with the hospital and working within the hospital tight routines, dealing with ethics, working with theatre artists and performing to children bedside. It also reports on evidence collected by questionnaire and interviews about the perceived benefits of bedside theatre by children and their parent/carers. Evidence shows that Bedside Theatre can help children relax and hold hospital stress such as pre and post operative anxiety more lightly. It distracts children's mind from their illness and gives them something to discuss with their families. Theatre can do more than entertainment in hospital as it comforts children and their parents. Parents of children in the cancer ward appreciate Bedside Theatre as most suitable to the needs of the patients.

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The book, the stories, the people: the practice development context of a dialogic narrative inquiry

This paper reports on a Writing for Recovery practice development project which is part of broader, ongoing narrative research.

The book, the stories, the people: an ongoing dialogic narrative inquiry study combining a practice development project. Part 2: the practice development context (PDF)

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