08/10/2018 | Press releases

Ipswich school pupils get arty to help patients with chronic pain

Artwork created by sixth form pupils is helping Ipswich Hospital patients with chronic pain.

Teenagers from St Alban’s Catholic High School in Ipswich designed and donated six images that have been framed, including a boat docked on Aldeburgh beach, a cartoon dinosaur walking over a photograph of London and birdcages captured in different neon colours, to the hospital’s pain clinic.

The students helped answer a request from the patient Pain User Group (PUG) who were keen for the unit to be given a makeover – allowing patients to feel more comfortable and uplifted when they visited.

Specialist clinical psychologist doctor Toni Miles, said:

“We aim to empower our patients with self-management, to support them in living a rich and full life with their pain.

People who have chronic pain can often lose the enjoyable and pleasurable elements in their daily lives as the necessary and mundane can take priority and energy.

The PUG were considering ways that patients could get some enjoyment and some small pleasurable experiences back, during what can be a prolonged worrying time, helping them to find some relaxation and to calm down their pain systems.

The pupils’ contribution is highly valuable to our service and this engagement provides additional links with our community, which fits in with our transformation ethos.

It is really important that we share information with younger people about chronic pain (long term pain) that is not always widely known about or understood with compassion.”

Tony Flury, a member of the Pain User Group at Ipswich Hospital, said:

“The pictures make the pain clinic look more uplifting and welcoming and the quality of the work is outstanding.”

Abigail Nield, lead teacher of photography at St Alban’s School, said:

“This is a great way to work together and it is a partnership that we would like to see continue and develop in the future.”

Sixth form pupil Thomas Heathwaite shows off his picture to specialist clinical psychologist Dr Toni Miles


From left: Specialist clinical psychologist Toni Miles, St Alban’s sixth form pupil Thomas Heathwaite, St Alban’s head boy Max Callaby, PUG member Tony Flury and lead teacher of photography Abigail Nield


One of the pictures on display, created by pupil Keighley Perkins

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