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Participatory Arts at MFT

Art + music on the ward and at the patients’ bedside

Lime has been delivering a multidisciplinary participatory arts programme in acute healthcare settings across MFT for many years. The programme aims to bring high quality, accessible arts experiences into adult ward settings, enabling patients, visitors and staff to participate in music making, dance, visual arts and other creative activities. Lime artists and musicians support the work of the Trust’s  Dementia Lead’s and Therapeutic Activity Coordinators, and builds links between the hospitals and Manchester’s wider cultural community, brokering partnerships with cultural and educational organisations and providing training and support to guest professional artists and students.

Evidence highlights how participatory arts interventions in acute healthcare settings can improve mood, reduce patient recovery times, increase resilience at work and improve communication. The presence of experienced artists in the ward opens a creative window within a clinical space. For patients experiencing short, medium, or long term stays and presenting with a wide range of clinical needs, the arts bring periods of respite where patients can make creative choices and self-direct their level of engagement in an environment where they often lack self-determination. 

Artists & Musicians: Holly Marland, Rachel Fillhart, Martin Bickerton, Theresa Lipinski, Dr Rebecca Hurst, Caro Churchill, Dr Swati Raut, Dr Kim Wiltshire

Partners and collaborators: Halle Orchestra, Company Chameleon, Manchester Camerata Orchestra, Royal Northern College of Music, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Milap, Musique et Sante

“You’d pay a bomb for that in the concert hall. I’ve never seen that. She dances with her eyes!” 

Patient, MRI


“It’s lovely that you come and bring your talents. It’s proper interaction”

Family member


“This is the highlight of my week”

Staff Nurse, MRI