Waterford group brightening up life on hospital wards scoops prize at National Lottery Good Causes of the Year Awards

Waterford Healing Arts Trust won the Arts and Culture category at the inaugural awards

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Waterford group brightening up life on hospital wards scoops prize at National Lottery Good Causes of the Year Awards

Waterford Healing Arts Trust scoops prize at inaugural National Lottery Good Causes of the Year Awards

Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) has scooped a prize at the inaugural National Lottery Good Causes of the Year Awards 2018 for its pioneering work with ill children and adults at University Hospital Waterford.

The group won the Arts and Culture category in the awards for its work in using various art forms to bring smiles to the faces of patients, staff and relatives in the hospital. It now receives €10,000 prize money to fund its work.

The National Lottery Good Causes of the Year Awards are aimed at honouring the extraordinary work impacting on communities all over Ireland thanks to National Lottery Good Causes funding. 36 finalists from all over Ireland gathered for a glittering awards dinner on Saturday, which was hosted by TV presenter Karen Koster.

The awards, featuring the Waterford group, will be broadcast on Virgin Media One this Sunday, November 11, at 9.30pm. 

WHAT’s activities include the Healing Sounds live music programme, which brightens up life on the wards and in the hospital foyer. A mobile art kart - a re-constituted medication trolley – travels through the wards with paints, brushes and other art supplies allowing patients to channel their emotions through arts. And an artist-on-call service is on hand to respond to individual patient needs.

National Lottery Good Causes funding supported an expansion of WHAT's Iontas Arts and Mental Health Programme, an initiative developed in partnership with Waterford/Wexford Mental Health Services to support the recovery and rehabilitation of mental health service users. This innovative programme includes music and multi-arts workshops focused on dance, writing, visual art and puppetry. It reached a number of mental health service users, including for the first time patients in an acute psychiatric ward.

More than 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of health, sport, youth, community, arts and culture, heritage and the Irish language. Last year alone, €226 million was raised for Good Causes by players of National Lottery games, an incredible €620,000 a day.

Since the National Lottery was established over 30 years ago, players in Ireland have helped raise more than €5.3 billion for Good Causes, funding which has shaped the development of modern Ireland.

National Lottery CEO Dermot Griffin congratulated WHAT on its award. “The Waterford Healing Arts Trust is doing important work making life a little brighter for those who are ill and are very deserving of this award. It is fitting that Ireland’s unsung heroes who work quietly under the radar to improve lives and make a difference are honoured in these inaugural National Lottery Good Awards. Their work often goes unrecognised, but it is so valued.”