From left are Auckland Point School students Harley McLeod (6), Te Hoiere Hemi (6), Amelia Suthie (5) and Vivian Tran (8) with the artwork they have created for Nelson Hospital’s ED. Photo: Kate Russell.

Kids’ artwork brightens up ED


Going to hospital can be a scary experience for our youngest patients, so a group of Nelson school children have helped to make it a bit less daunting.

Auckland Point School students have created a range of fun and bright artworks for the emergency department (ED) at Nelson Hospital.

Anne Geange, a registered Nurse in ED responsible for the paediatric portfolio, says she thought of the idea to invite local primary schools to help refurbish the paediatric room.

She asked children to decorate some large sheets of plywood, supplied by Mitre 10, with some paint that was donated by Resene.

The brief was for different themes which could be mounted on the walls and be changed around seasonally, so that children could look at them while lying on the bed undergoing procedures.

Cheryl Betman (also known as Whaea Betti), an art teacher at Auckland Point School, took up Anne’s invitation and asked her students to paint some of their favourite things.

The resulting three panels depict themes of Christmas and summer activities on one side, with winter on the reverse.

There are images of Waka Ama, happy sheep, paddle boarding, helicopters, Tasman Mako players and scenes from Nelson.

Anne says she hopes the artwork will help make a visit to ED more positive than negative and demystify their ED experience.

“The paintings can be used as a distraction in the paediatric room by asking children to look for certain objects in the panels, similar to a ‘Where’s Wally’ book.”

Cheryl says it took around 10 weeks to create the panels, and for their efforts the school was gifted a Santa sack full of Christmas treats.