As the art kart rolls through the ward door, a smile appears on the face of the young patient.
The brightly-coloured converted medical trolley is packed with everything from paints to colouring pads.
Children in the paediatric ward develop their own creative masterpieces and in doing so levels of anxiety and boredom are reduced assisting both the patients and their families.
And across University Hospital Waterford patients of all ages benefit from the work of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) which uses all forms of the arts to help patients through their most difficult days.
Over the years National Lottery Funding for Good Causes has been received for a host of projects, €2,400 in 2014 and €3,000 in 2016 via the HSE and an additional €4,000 of Lottery funding was issued through the Department of Health three years ago.
“One of those projects was the Healing Sounds Programme where we harness the positive impact of music on well-being. The funding was used to support Liam Merriman, who trained in France, to mentor musicians to engage patients musically with sensitivity and empathy at their bedside,” explains Claire Meaney, the acting Arts Director with WHAT.
And the Healing Sounds in the Foyer programme presents lunchtime performances by a range of musicians across various musical genres.
The work of WHAT has had a major positive impact on patient experiences in Waterford and any patient can request the artist in residence (Ciara Harrison in 2017) to visit their bedside.
Indeed some dialysis patients, who must visit the hospital to receive treatment which can last as many as four hours at a time, have embraced the creative arts offerings.
“The positive benefits of art to well-being and mental health can be immense and thanks to Lottery funding we’ve been able to work with all those who use University Hospital Waterford,” explained Claire Meaney, and she added: “It helped so many people over the years that some have even held their own exhibitions afterwards.”
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.