Target Group: Older people in hospital

Geographical Reach: Bath & North East Somerset

Project Duration: 2010 – 2012

Project Funder: Art at the Heart of the RUH & Superact

Project Manager: Ali Smith

Project Aim

Rosie Campbell, a young professional musician who graduated from Bath Spa University with a BA Hons in Music with English Literature, ran a series of musical and creative workshops at the Bath Royal United Hospital between 2010 and 2012. Rosie used these workshops to boost patients’ self-esteem and sense of well-being in order to aid their recovery. Superact provided funding for Rosie to serve as the ‘musician in residence’ on Combe Ward at the Bath RUH, helping to make the project possible.


Research by Older People’s Unit ward manager Jon Willis demonstrated that music has a particularly beneficial effect for patients with Dementia, who occupy one in four beds at the hospital. In addition to this, Jon found that participation in musical activities facilitates social inclusion, thereby reducing loneliness and anxiety. Jon explained that “these activities are also an important contributor to reducing stress as they are distracting, alleviate boredom and reduce focus on pain and illness.”

Activities at the workshops included music and art workshops, creative writing sessions, reminiscence workshops, musical performances, storytelling and a ‘Befriending Scheme’ which saw volunteers invite patients to play board games and introduce them to hobbies to which they would not normally have access.

PhD Volunteer Lucetta Johnson originally developed the Hospital Notes project in 2009 for Art at the Heart of the RUH. In its first year funding for the project came from Awards for All, and Rosie was involved for sixth months as a volunteer. Funding was then received from the Quartet Foundation and Art at the Heart which enabled Rosie to work in a paid capacity throughout 2011 and 2012.

Further information on Art at the Heart and evaluations from the project so far are available at