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GOSH Patients and Their Siblings Lend a Creative Hand

Susie Hall, head of Great Ormond Street Hospital's in-house art program GO Create!, explains how the children are contributing to the creation of the Morgan Stanley garden.

At GO Create!, we strive to create a relaxing, engaging and child-friendly environment to help patients adjust to what can be an extremely difficult time. An important part of achieving this is to encourage and support the creativity and learning of GOSH patients and their siblings. The Morgan Stanley Chelsea Flower Show garden will provide us a fantastic opportunity to do so.

One of our regular artists, Sion, worked  with Chris Beardshaw's team to design a workshop that would engage the children, while also creating some beautiful artwork for the garden. We held these workshops across the hospital in outpatient areas, in the wards and in the hospital's school and Activity Center throughout half-term, so that patients' siblings could get involved, too. We felt it was important to give all of our patients—both inpatients and outpatients—the chance to submit a drawing. So we also posted the opportunity on social media and the GOSH website to help spread the word.

One of the children at Great Ormond Street Hospital creates artwork for Morgan Stanley's Chelsea Flower Show Garden, which will ultimately live on the hospital's rooftop.

We wanted to make sure that the pieces represented the diversity of the children, so we focused on making different types of leaves, using a lot of color and encouraging the children to be as inventive and imaginative as they wanted. We encouraged the children to use lots of different materials to help give depth and range to the artwork, and to ensure that the leaves were colorful and creative. They used paint, tissue paper, card, felt and pencils—to name just a few of the materials. During the session, we asked the children to hang their completed leaves on a cardboard tree for display.

Sessions such as these are important for children at GOSH because they provide a fun and educational distraction for our patients and their siblings. Being in the hospital can be scary, so having a creative activity to get involved in can help alleviate anxiety and create a less stressful hospital visit.

GO Create! is thrilled to have been involved in the making of this wonderful garden, which will be appreciated by families and staff alike. The patients are always delighted for their artwork to be celebrated and shown to the public, so they were excited to contribute and hear that their designs could be included in such an important project. The children have loved getting involved and being inventive with their designs. They're really looking forward to seeing their artwork displayed, once the garden is completed.

Read more articles and blogs about Morgan Stanley's Chelsea Flower Show Garden for GOSH.

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