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UHNS Charity & Appetite Programme Launch

Date uploaded: June 16, 2014

Dancers have been taking to the floor of University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) as part of a scheme designed to brighten up the lives of patients. Appetite work with community groups across Stoke-on-Trent to inspire interest in the arts and to encourage city residents to create and commission their own programmes. The partnership with UHNS Charity will see elements from Appetite’s eclectic summer programme taking place in the hospital grounds and buildings.

The £44,000 partnership is jointly run by the hospital and Appetite, an Arts Council England-funded programme. Andrew Smith, Non-Executive Director of the UHNS Trust Board welcomed the partnership, commenting: “A modern hospital can feel cold and clinical and the arts can play an important role in softening this environment, turning our new house into a home. “We have a huge potential audience here, with more than half a million visitors to these buildings each year.”

The aim is to increase participation in the arts across Stoke-on-Trent and a variety of live performances will take place in the hospital until December.

Mr Toole, 49, said: "The performance is not ultimately about anything. It's designed to just be entertainment for people in hospital and help take their minds off anything they're dealing with.

"I know from personal experience that when you're receiving treatment and have nothing to do, it can be quite boring, so it's nice to be able to give something back and help other people in that situation."

Gemma Thomas, creative producer at Appetite, said the partnership was a perfect opportunity to celebrate local artists on a wider public platform.

"We've worked very closely with the hospital to draw up a programme of arts events for everyone, and this is a fantastic way to get everything started," she said.

FRONTLINEdance, created by dancer and choreographer Rachael Lines, launched the first week of performances, with other events later in the year.

Emma Robertson, deputy manager of UHNS Charity, said: "It's important for us to make sure we do all we can to support art in public spaces, and as we have so many people from all over the area coming through our doors every day, there's no reason why we shouldn't use this chance to celebrate some fantastic work."

Appetite is part of the Creative People and Places Programme and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. For more details of this and other events in Appetite's summer programme click here.

UHNS Charity & Appetite Programme Launch. Image provided by Barrington Coombs Photography

UHNS Charity & Appetite Programme Launch. Image provided by Barrington Coombs Photography