Performing Arts at Alder Hey
Alder Hey was pleased to celebrate World Theatre Day on 27th March as the hospital has been running an exciting and varied programme of performing arts for its patients and their families since 2006. Live music, dance, theatre performances and storytelling are all regularly used to help and support children and young people during their stay in hospital, either on the ward, at the bedside or in our performance space in the main atrium of the hospital.
Based on extensive experience and research, we know that the performing arts can bring many benefits for the children and young people at Alder Hey: the arts can support wellbeing and recovery, boost a child’s confidence and self esteem, give a child new skills and cultural experiences, distract them from the medical treatments they receive, and reduce anxiety and depression. In our recent Music Matters project, which enabled musicians to visit every in-patient ward once a week, 92% of patients told us that having the music sessions significantly improved the hospital experience, whilst 84% of patients told us that it helped them to forget about their illness or condition.
“The music makes me brighter and happier and I like meeting new people. It takes my mind off everything.” Hope aged 9 years
“It is boring being in bed all day and it seems like the day is never ending. Music sessions really cheer me and Mummy up. It is fun and then I’m not thinking about being in pain.” Alexa aged 9 years
“The music session today was fantastic, the lady who performed was amazing, we all joined in as a family and it left us all with a really positive and enjoyable memory to look back on at such a difficult and hard time. I would highly recommend these sessions and believe they are a great idea for helping the child feel like there is something to look forward to and make them smile. I think these sessions are one of the best ideas the hospital has to offer for children.” Mum of Miley aged 7 years
Our performing arts programme has been recognised nationally; in 2014, our dance programme won the NHS England Excellence in Participation Award and in 2017, it was cited as a model of good practice by the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Group in Arts, Wellbeing and Health.
Our performing arts programme is funded entirely from charitable sources and our funders include: The Big Lottery Fund, Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity, Children in Need and the Youth Music Foundation. We are grateful for their support.