Journeys with Alder Hey

DaDaFest delivered two sets of visual arts workshops for the young patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

‘We were excited to be working with DaDaFest for the first time and believed that their artists could support our long term patients through developing their creativity and motivation, as well as creating a positive environment on the ward.’ – Arts Coordinator, Alder Hey

Postcards of photographs taken by the young people for the project:

Read the booklet about the project here:


The project provided a positive focus for those having long term treatment and for young people to have a sense of achievement through taking part. In the first stage of the project, young people were asked to think about ideas around a journey and create art work in response to this. Some of the young people chose to think about their journeys within the hospital environment whilst others focused on journeys they had made when away from home or hospital such as taking a holiday or visiting family.

Each young person was given an art pack containing a sketchbook, pastels, watercolour pencils and collage materials, a disposable camera and worked with a visual artist. The second stage of the project focused on developing the young person’s skills and exploring their ideas further; young people worked with a photographer to learn new skills in digital photography and editing. The young people created a series of postcards based on the images they had taken and manipulated. Two of the young people took part in the Arts Award programme, achieving Explore level awards.

“She loved it – she looked at other artists work at home. Her dad said she can’t wait to come in and get going on the project. She can’t wait to get her Arts Award. Normally she gets bored but she was really engrossed.” Senior Play Specialist

“Leila has been coming to see me and teach me how to use the camera, and she has been teaching me how to do zooming, close ups and medium shoots. I enjoyed most taking pictures and exploring the work of different artists. I choose the photo by looking at what was good in the phone and what I had in the photo and my photo of mini (the teddy bear) is going to go onto a postcard. It was very hard to choose but I had to look at what was good in the photo and what was bad.” Edith, age 10

“I got loads of photos of flowers and I copied them in many ways, I used felt, oil pastels and coloured paper, I did quite a few, I did a blue one, I did a tree as well, I like the tree. I like the oil pastels they are my favourite, I liked using the techniques on it, blending was good. For the photos, I just decided to take photos of things that were important to me so I took photos of my machine and my toothbrush because everyone who comes into hospital brings their own toothbrush.” Nancy, age 15

The project has been supported by Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Alder Hey Charity, a private donation and Curious Minds.

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