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Children & the Arts

Enriching the lives of young people and families receiving hospice care through the arts

What we do

Since 2012 Children & the Arts has developed a programme to provide children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses access to the arts, together with their families. It is based in London, but works across the UK.

By creating partnerships between arts organisations (theatres, galleries, museums, dance companies etc) and a local children’s hospice in the organisation’s area, Children & the Arts provides opportunities for families to have fun together away from daily challenges at home and in the hospice/hospital. As well as family days, the programme offers dedicated activities for siblings, who often feel isolated or overlooked.

Projects include visual art and storytelling, music, drama, poetry, opera and dance. Recent events include visits to Northern Ballet workshops and productions such as Peter Pan and Three Little Pigs by families at Martin House Hospice in Leeds. Children’s hospice Ty Gobaith and Clwyd Theatr Cymru in North Wales teamed up for puppetry, theatre, fun family days and performances. Children & the Arts’ model is designed to be scalable, so that new partners can be taken on.

Children’s hospice users have to cope with diseases and conditions that impact in countless ways on the whole family, but during the Northern Ballet project, the poorly child’s cares and routines are taken care of and the families can just focus on doing things together – nobody gets left out!

Niki Gilding, Martin House Children’s Hospice Care Team

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