School pupils in Warwick bring cheer to NHS staff and patients in Leamington

Throughout Covid-19, pupils at the school have been brightening the wards of Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital with artwork

Pupils from a school in Warwick have helped bring some cheers to hospital staff and patients.

Throughout Covid-19, students at King’s High School have been brightening the wards of Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital with artwork, to provide some cheer for patients and NHS staff.

Pupils at King’s High and Warwick School at the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation enjoy a long partnership with Kissing It Better, the healthcare charity whose projects make a world of difference to older, vulnerable people in hospitals, care homes and the community, and help bring the generations together.

The Chaplain with King’s High artwork for the quiet reflection/prayer room – used by staff taking a much-needed break. Photo supplied

Pupils who missed their weekly visits to Warwick Hospital and volunteering with Kissing It Better still managed to keep connected through each lockdown.

This included Zoom calls with local care homes, writing letters to older patients isolated in hospital, organising deliveries of Harry Potter audio tapes, and responding to Kissing It Better’s appeal for artwork for Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital.

Caty Oates, project director for Kissing It Better Warwickshire, said: "King’s High School has been like an emergency “rapid response team” during the pandemic.

"Pupils have been so willing and quick to help us over the last year, using amazing creative talents to cheer up those in isolation.

Ward Manager and Sister on Feldon Ward with motivational quotes. Photo supplied

"Their work will make such a difference in cheering up long stay older patients and also NHS staff - they love the pictures, which cheer everyone up.

"It has been wonderful to be able to distribute hundreds of homemade gifts and cards, including book marks, hanging birds, hearts, knitted animals, lavender bags, as well as fabulous themed activity packs and reminiscence materials.

"The girls have also taken part in intergenerational Zoom calls with local care homes, sharing poetry and meeting the residents.

"It’s been wonderful to see so many smiley faces, with older people feeling valuable and younger people feeling valued."

King’s High student, Rosie’s decorated hanging birds which are brightening up patients’ walking frames. Photo supplied

Sarah Jordan, director of art at King’s High, and her students have been busy.

Pupils came up with the idea of a series of motivational quotes and responded immediately to the request for laminated art work to brighten up bedside areas on the wards at Leamington Hospital.

Larger, contemplative pieces are on display in the quiet reflection/prayer room, which is used by staff taking a much-needed break.

Staff in the Physiotherapy Department love pupil Rosie’s birds on ribbons, which will be used to brighten up walking frames for stroke patients, and will be decorated with their names.

Staff holding students’ series of flower paintings. Photo supplied

Much thought has gone into the artwork, as Laura Willey, Sixth Form student at King’s High said: "I considered producing a portrait, a landscape, or a still life piece.

"However, a portrait can appear too individual and personal.

"I chose a neutral, calming and reassuring image, partly inspired by the hands seen in Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling and Rodin's 'The Cathedral' sculpture and aimed to produce a drawing conveying a universal and symbolic image of shared peace.

"The drawing shows my mother's and my older sister's resting hands; conveying the idea that whilst we may be unable to see each other in person, reaching out to one another illustrates the importance of care and connection across generations."