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For the past three years, Here East has been a proud supporter of the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospitals Programme, alongside Delancey, Get Living, Plexal, and The Earls Court Development Company, helping artists bring creative activities to five of London’s children’s hospitals.

In partnership with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (C&W), Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), Newham University Hospital and The Royal London Hospital (RLH), this pioneering outreach programme is delivering high-quality, free and accessible art workshops to young people and their families in hospital.

Aiming to inspire and engage young people through creativity, this programme encourages children to explore the world around them; supporting their educational development and breaking down barriers they may face in accessing arts whilst in hospital.

Whether through collages, animations, illustrations, self-portraits, and much more, the programme helps provide a welcome distraction for young people and their families whilst they undergo treatment, improving their physical, mental, and social wellbeing as they experience challenging times.

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Inspired by the Gallery’s own collection of portraits, this programme has been harnessing the power of art to promote health and wellbeing for a total of 16 years. It has seen more than 20,500 young people participate while supporting their families and the medical staff of the wider hospital community.

Here East has been thrilled to support the programme’s current four-year project known as “Champions of the World”.

As part of this project, young participants are encouraged to explore the portraits and stories of remarkable people who have made a positive impact on the world – changing it for the better.

Each year, this project has focused on a different theme, including environmentalists and conservationists, entertainers and sporting legends, and scientists and innovators, with 2024’s theme being activists & campaigners.

Alongside the workshops, this project has also involved the publication of a “Champions of the World” activity book. This book features twelve prominent sports and entertainment personalities, including Ed Sheeran, Emma Watson, and Marcus Rashford, and allows children and families to enjoy creativity together outside of the live sessions.

A total of 5,000 free copies of the book have been given to children across the five hospitals, as well as a digital version which is now available online.

We are incredibly proud to be a part of this exceptional initiative helping young people and their families when they need it most, and we look forward to supporting more creative projects just like this one in the year ahead.

Read more about the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospitals Programme.

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