Students create mural for the Alex

A group of students from Sussex Downs College in Lewes have created a special mural for sick children at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex).

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The five students – Sam, Amy, Isabel, Archie and Vita (pictured above) – are all studying Applied Art & Design at the college and have spent six weeks creating the wildlife-themed artwork, which is located in the Children’s Emergency Department at the Alex in Brighton.

The vibrant mural features a variety of wild animals and insects and will help to create a better experience for young patients who have been admitted to the A&E unit. It is hoped the painting will relieve any anxiety for children and parents in what can often be a stressful time.

Liz McCluskey, Schools & Community Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse, said: “We are so pleased with the outcome of the mural, it has certainly surpassed our expectations and is a wonderful addition to the Children’s Emergency Department. The students have been a pleasure to work with and have really engaged in the project, dedicating two days a week of their time for almost six weeks.

“We have received excellent feedback from staff at the Alex and we hope it helps to create a more positive experience for children and their parents.”

James DiBiase, Applied Art & Design Coordinator at Sussex Downs College, praised his students for their hard work. He said: “The students have created a fabulous piece of work that will hopefully bring happiness to parents and children in what can be a difficult time. I am very proud of the creativity, collaborative spirit and high levels of professionalism shown by Amy, Archie, Izzy, Sam and Vita.

“The mural created is typical of the high standard of work by students studying the Applied Art & Design course through their hard work, imagination and engagement. Working on a live brief like this increases the learner’s employment skills. It gives the students the experience of working to a real deadline, with client demands and expectations to satisfy. Rockinghorse and the Alex are thrilled by the outcome which is a testament to the success of this project.”

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Student Vita Measure-Hughes (pictured above), added: “I am hugely grateful for this opportunity and being able to give back to such a fantastic hospital that helped me a lot when I was younger. I hope our mural helps patients and families by making their stay a little bit easier, along with the wonderful staff who are still just as engaging and caring as they were for me 15 years ago when I was an inpatient.”

As the official fundraising arm of the Alex, here at Rockinghorse we raise money for items necessary to every child’s treatment; from furnishings and toys for the wards through to cutting-edge diagnostic machines and life-saving medical equipment.

We believe that no matter where they are, children should always be allowed to be children and we have previously worked with community art groups from the Brighton area, commissioning murals in both the adolescent room and sub-wait children’s play area in the Children’s Emergency Department. To find out more about our work, please click here.

Our thanks to students Archie, Vita, Sam, Isabel and Amy, their tutor James and Sussex Downs College for working with us to create such a wonderful mural which will make such a difference to young patients spending time on the unit.

Take a look at all the pictures from the launch event by clicking here.

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