We make now better
Waterford Healing Arts brings arts experiences – music, art making, creative writing, storytelling – to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and other healthcare settings to reduce anxiety and stress for patients, family members and staff, and to ‘soften’ the clinical environment. Waterford Healing Arts Trust (renamed Waterford Healing Arts in 2023) was founded in 1993 by Dr Abdul Bulbulia, Mary Baxter and a committee of Waterford people who believed in the power of art to transform the hospital environment (for more on our history, please see Our History).
Today, examples of our work include bringing art making and storytelling to children in the Paediatric Ward, and creative writing, art and music to the Renal Dialysis Unit; We invite mental health service users to participate in over 300 arts experiences in the Dept of Psychiatry and in community settings every year.
We also work with older people at Waterford Residential Care Centre and more recently we commenced art making in people’s homes through a new programme called Art at the Kitchen Table.
Our work is not ‘therapy’, but it is inherently therapeutic, lifting spirits, reducing loneliness and bringing a little joy at a difficult time in a person’s life.
Waterford Healing Arts is part of Réalta, the National Body for Arts + Health in Ireland, which is core funded by the Arts Council and supported by the HSE, and is based at the Centre for Arts + Health, University Hospital Waterford.