The RENEW partnership between the HSE, the Department of Health (Healthy Ireland), Creative Ireland, and the Arts Council was established in 2020 to explore options for collaborative work to further develop arts and health in the HSE. As part of this collaborative work, the HSE submitted two applications to Creative Ireland with a total of €114,470 awarded in 2023.
The first application on the theme of ‘Celebrating Culture Diversity through the Arts for Staff Health and Wellbeing’ received €54,320 for four Community Health Organisations (CHOs) and six Hospital Group (HG) projects.
These projects include an intercultural musical collaboration performed and recorded by staff to play in waiting rooms; a market event with stalls showcasing the rich culture diversity of staff through food, crafts, music and art; a series of multicultural singing workshops where staff are invited to sing and share a song from their culture; and a photography competition on the theme of cultural diversity.
These projects aim to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the different cultures that exist in the HSE among staff and increase staff awareness of the role of the creative arts in positively impacting on their health and wellbeing.
The second application received €60,150 funding for six hospital groups to both strengthen existing arts and health initiatives in hospitals, and expand the concept to additional hospitals. Hospital Groups could select from the following options for their hospitals: (a) music in public spaces (b) workshops with an Artist in Residence and (c) a hanging art system.
The music sessions and Artist in Residence workshops are currently taking place, with the hanging art system being installed and art being displayed early in 2024. The aim of these initiatives is to create awareness and advocate for use and integration of arts to positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of service users, staff and visitors.