New mural helps children relax in Fairfield General Hospital’s theatres

Childrens Room
New mural helps children relax in Fairfield General Hospital’s theatres
04 November 2014

CHILDREN undergoing operations at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury now have a colourful tree-house mural to help them relax prior to their procedure.

The mural which has been painted on one of the walls in the children’s waiting room in theatre is a welcome addition to the department, which enhances their experience of coming into hospital.

Stuart Barkley from Ramsbottom took on the challenge of designing and painting the mural after his friend, Dionne Lowe who works at Fairfield, recommended the up-and-coming artist.

After accessing the room, Stuart happily donated his time and his employer Clark Craft Products, picked up the cost of the paint.

A colourful mural depicting a tree house, complete with Universal Pictures’ character Minion from the film ‘Despicable Me’, a chimpanzee and an owl, now adorns the waiting room.

Stuart said: “Creating the artwork for the mural was great fun and in discussion with Catherine Hallett, materials management supervisor in theatres at Fairfield General Hospital, we decided to incorporate lots of different items within the scene so that children could try to spot them.  We have a ladder which doubles up as a height measure and there is also an elephant hiding within the tree!

“I was happy to help the hospital create the artwork as it is so important to make the experience of coming into hospital as pleasant as possible for children.”

Feedback from children, their parents and staff has been extremely positive as the mural has captured the children’s imagination.  Catherine Hallett said: “The children interact with the mural as Stuart has designed a play sheet which asks questions about the picture.  This enables parents to sit with their children and help take their mind off being in an operating theatre environment.”

Kim Ridgway, acting theatre manager at Fairfield General Hospital, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Stuart from all theatre staff, patients and parents, for the fantastic mural that he has painted in our children’s waiting room.  He gave his time for free and his generosity has not gone unnoticed.  This is very much appreciated.”