Photographers are picture perfect for new Northumbria hospital
Amateur photographers whose images are to be displayed in Northumberland’s new hospital dedicated to emergency care have spoken of their delight at being winners of the competition.
The winners of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s photography competition for the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital were celebrated at an event this week.
The images are to be exhibited in key locations of the new Northumbria hospital, which treats people who are seriously ill or injured across Northumberland and North Tyneside, to help patients and visitors to find their way to wards and departments.
Bill Stephens’ image of a man and a boy flying a kite on the beach at Bamburgh Castle was the overall winner, and winner of the Northumbria coastline category.
Bill, 68, from Cramlington, said: “When I entered the competition I never dreamt that I would win, I’m really pleased.
“It’s been most interesting to watch the new Northumbria hospital evolve and it’s great for the area.
“I love taking photographs and I just wanted to take part to contribute in some small way and say thank you for the excellent health service we have in this area.”
For the last eight years, Bill, and his wife Margaret, have been exhibiting photographs in the oncology day unit at Wansbeck General Hospital where Margaret’s daughter was treated.
“We’ve seen first-hand the enjoyment patients get from having photographs on display as a welcome distraction to their treatment and we have no doubt that this will have the same effect in the new hospital,” he said. “We can’t wait to see them up on the walls.”
Paul White’s image of the beach huts at Blyth in the snow was the joint winner of the local scenes and landscapes category.
Paul, 55, from Blyth, said: “It was a complete surprise to learn I’d been chosen from all the entries, I’m delighted.
“It’s a good feeling that the photographs will help people to feel a little bit better when they come into hospital.”
Kris Young won the ‘things that make you smile’ category for his patriotic image of his sister’s neighbour Peggy Wealleans, who has since passed away.
Kris, from Fenham, Newcastle, suffers from a degenerative eye condition and is registered blind, however, refuses to let it stop him from pursuing his passion for photography.
Kris, 41, said: “I’ve always loved photography and am absolutely delighted that I’ve won one of the categories. Peggy was a lovely lady and her family are over the moon her picture will be displayed in the new Northumbria hospital.”
The competition attracted almost 1,000 entries in five categories – local scenes and landscapes; Northumbria coastline; objects close up (keep people guessing!); wildlife, animals and nature; and things that make you smile.
The competition was part of the trust’s long-standing healing arts programme which uses art as a therapeutic medium to improve the hospital environment for patients, visitors and staff.
A large mobile – ‘A Murmuration of Starlings’ – has already been installed in the main entrance of The Northumbria hospital as part of the project with an external sculpture and community embroidery to be unveiled.
Brenda Longstaff, head of arts and the patient environment at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the entries to our photography competition and we would like to thank everyone for taking part.
“It was fantastic to welcome the winners and finalists to our Northumbria hospital and see for themselves the excellent facility we have here in Northumberland. The photographs are absolutely stunning and will provide a lovely visual cue for our patients, staff and visitors to find their way around our new hospital.
“We are really grateful to all of the hundreds of photographers around the North East who so generously shared their talent with us.”
Northumbria Healthcare’s arts steering group and award-winning photographer Ikuko Tsuchiya judged the images.
See the winning images here