Youngsters on Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s children’s ward have been given a creative license with support from the Trust’s charity, bringing new superheroes to animated life.
Chesterfield based Write Print Create have been holding workshops on Nightingale Ward to encourage the young patients to use their imagination and create original superheroes and villains, weaving their own story to develop new and unique comic adventures.
Play and art are important aspects of life on Nightingale ward, forming part of the treatment and recovery that helps the children to take their minds off whatever condition it is that has kept them on the ward.
Emma Pass is one half of the husband and wife duo who founded Write Print Create and a published author; she said: “We do a lot of work with schools and it was suggested that we could bring our workshops to the hospital where these youngsters could really benefit. We use group conversation with the children to bring out ideas of what powers a superhero would have, what we could name them, what they look like and how they behave. We then do the same thing to develop a villain which goes a long way towards developing a central story.
“It teaches the children to work together, how ideas can come from other ideas and that by discussing different character traits you can move a story forward. It shows that writing isn’t just about grammar and punctuation; it’s organic, fun and flows from this creativity. Every child has a different background and perspective on life and it’s lovely to see how those dynamics play out within a group.”
Duncan Pass completes the duo, providing the cartoon and print expertise. He said: “Not only do we want names and characteristics of the heroes and villains; we want to know what they look like. We want to be able to tell the story across 18 pictures so we also ask them what the characters look like, what colour their costumes are, how big or small they are and this helps them to fully realise the story and pushes the plot forwards.
“It all happens very naturally and I bring my printing press with me to show them how we bring their ideas to life. It’s a unique experience for them and something anyone can do. We can show them that anything is possible, that anyone can create a story and bring it to life visually regardless of ability. It’s all about wellbeing, friendship and creativity but above all else, it’s fun and the children have something solid to show for it at the end that they have created themselves.”
They call this workshop ‘Build a Hero’ and the Nightingale crowd created their story called ‘Spikosaurus and Rubber Man Save the World’ throughout the course of the day. The images will be put up on the corridor outside Nightingale ward to help bring it in line with the ‘fun and colourful’ environment that has been created on the ward.
Nic Hardwick is a Play Specialist on Nightingale, she said: “It’s great that Chesterfield Royal Hospital Charity has been able to support Write Print Create coming in to work with our patients. We try to incorporate as much play and activity into the daily ward life so to be able to provide this kind of hands on workshop is great for the children. They had a fantastic day and for them to experience the whole process from an initial idea to something they can create and then see on paper is wonderful. It’s been a great day and they got so much out of it.”
You can view a gallery of the photos by clicking here.