Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), with the support of The Creative Ireland Programme, offering commissions for artists to develop new creative work in support of the health and wellbeing of care staff in the HSE
The pandemic brought many things to people’s attention including the value that creative practice plays in people’s lives, and the crucial roles of care staff in hospital settings.
The Arts & Engagement Programme at IHF, founded at the start of the pandemic, has been supporting the role of creative practice for people affected by dying, death and bereavement. It has had a significant positive impact, helping people sense-make when they are bereft.
Dominic Campbell, IHF’s Arts & Engagement Production Officer, says: “We are delighted to be working with Creative Ireland and the HSE on supporting professional care teams who engage with dying, death, and bereavement on a daily basis. These commissions will focus on the supporting these workers and figuring out how creative work can be of value to them in their work.”
The HSE employs approximately 110,000 staff in Ireland. Those who work regularly with dying, death, and bereavement could be in any part of the country doing emotionally and physically demanding work. Their working days are often time poor and irregular. How can artists create something of value, useful and meaningful for these people taking into consideration the time pressures of staff and scale of the HSE? Could this be something people might carry around in their pocket, reach for on a tea-break, share with colleagues? Could it be a distraction, a moment of beauty, an exercise, recipe, manifesto, a wish for making wellbeing? A fifteen-minute solo workshop?
We are commissioning creatives to join us on a journey to explore how creativity can make moments of care and wellbeing for HSE staff. We are offering four commissions of €2,500 per artist, plus a materials budget. The project will be developed with IHF’s Arts and Creative Engagement team. Artists and IHF will liaise with relevant HSE teams and staff throughout.
This development will be informed by our Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) and Compassionate End of Life in Residential Care Centres (CEOL) networks. Successful resources will be further refined and adapted so they can be widely distributed to HSE staff from early winter 2022.