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Air Arts given huge boost after receiving £50,000 Government grant

UHDB’s arts charity has received a helping hand in the form of a Government grant that will allow these colleagues to carry out their invaluable work during the winter months ahead.

Air Arts is involved in a number of different arts projects that all play a part in creating a welcoming environment at Royal Derby Hospital and London Road Community Hospital for our patients and staff alike.

The team have had to completely change the way that they work throughout the pandemic – at a time when people have needed their work more than ever to reduce stress and anxiety – as less visitors have been able to enjoy their creative art exhibitions. 

With this in mind, Air Arts has been handed a £50,000 grant to support them through the winter as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund programme, which is administered by Arts Council England.

This funding will allow the team, who were recently named ‘Team of the Year’ at the Patient Experience Network National Awards, to carry on their recent work by sustaining online projects and exhibitions and developing an arts app for patients to access on the wards using Trust iPads. 

Just as crucially, it will also be used to enhance the experience of those in our hospitals by providing brand new artwork in the corridors, putting measures in place to allow musicians to perform safely on site, and creating single-use activity packs for patients to enjoy.

Laura Waters, Arts Programme Manager at Air Arts, said: “I’m really delighted to announce that we’ve received a Cultural Recovery grant, as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.  As you can imagine, the last few months in our hospitals have been really, really difficult and our work has had to be completely transformed, so that we can still bring arts and culture to our patients and staff, at a time when they have needed it most.

“A lot of our funding streams dried up during this time, so it’s really fantastic that we have been given this support to help us through the winter. This funding will allow us continue trying to make our hospitals a nicer place to be and help look after our staff and patients through this time.”  

Air Arts is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country to benefit from support as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, which has been set up in partnership with Arts Council England to overcome challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, said: “These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead, so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Arts Council England Chair, added: “This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”