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Charity programme Artfelt brings adventure to extensive £1m refurbishment programme at Sheffield Children’s

blue lift with fish and coral in to look like youre underwater
15 March 2022

Bright new lifts are being unveiled across Sheffield Children’s thanks to a collaboration between charity-funded arts programme, Artfelt, and the Estates Team to create a sense of adventure for patients moving around the hospital.

The project has been devised to help children and young people, as well as parents and carers, interact with their surroundings, creating adventure and distraction to ensure they feel relaxed at what can be a difficult time.

The extensive lift refurbishment programme, which will see six new lifts installed across the Western Bank site at Sheffield Children’s, will cost over £1m in total.

As well as providing a much faster, smoother and more child-friendly experience, the new lifts are energy-saving, cheaper to maintain and have greatly improved reliability for patient transfers.

Thanks to Artfelt, which is funded by The Children’s Hospital Charity, and the Estates Team at Sheffield Children’s, the new lifts also offer an experience of adventure for patients, acting as distraction for children on their way to appointments by featuring artwork on the walls, ceilings, and doors.

Project Manager in the Estates Team at Sheffield Children’s, James Lines, explains: “The previous lifts were installed almost 32 years ago, and while they were the best available at the time, they were coming towards the end of their natural life.

“The new lifts are much faster and smoother, as well as easier and more cost-effective to maintain. Crucially, they are more reliable for the hospital departments that depend on them, and they save energy, as we look to improve our carbon footprint across the Trust.”

Working with concepts developed by design agency, Cafeteria, and illustrations from artist Tatiana Boyko, Artfelt have made sure the new lifts offer an experience of adventure for patients moving around the building.

The exciting designs feature explorer Amy (based on Yorkshire’s own explorer Amy Johnson) and her robot sidekick, Chip, as they adapt to and explore the different worlds.

Cat Powell, Head of Artfelt, explains: “When the Estates Team asked us to work with them on the lifts, we saw it as a great opportunity to do something creative. Devising a character who travels around the hospital offers patients a sense of fun and helps takes their mind off the reason for their visit appointment.

“Working closely with the Estates Team to embed art into even the most technical project, like this, really does enhance the experience of hospital. By the time the roll out is complete, children will be able to find Amy and Chip on six totally different adventures!”

The recently completed Blue Lift is underwater-themed and joins the Purple ‘Space’ Lift’ and Green ‘Jungle’ Lift completed in 2018. Later this year, the team will be upgrading Pink Lift which will see Amy and Chip reaching for the sky!

Great care has also been taken throughout the project to limit disruption to patients.

Project Manager James Lines continues: “The overarching priority throughout the project has been to ensure that there was minimal disruption to patient care and pathways.

“The new lifts have greatly enhanced the patient experience in the Western Bank site and the new artwork has helped engage and distract the children using them, often in very difficult moments. We’re looking forward to completing the next stage later this year.”

Artist Tatiana Boyko added: “I loved working on this project. It was great to be able to create a series of immersive illustrations where you escape to a different universe. I hope it will provide a joyful experience for the patients and visitors and inspire their imagination a little while travelling on the lifts throughout the hospital.”

Find out more about Artfelt’s work at Sheffield Children’s by visiting: www.artfelt.org.uk

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