National Portrait Gallery celebrates fifteenth anniversary of its hospitals programme with new activities for children
- To celebrate this anniversary, the Gallery launches Champions of the World, a new resource that brings the portraits of entertainers and sporting legends into hospitals across London
This July, the National Portrait Gallery is proud to launch Champions of the World, a new activity book for children receiving care in London’s children’s hospitals. Taking inspiration from the Gallery’s Collection, Champions of the World introduces young people to the portraits and diverse stories of exceptional, hard-working and talented people who are changing our world for the better. Supporting health, wellbeing and happiness through the creative arts, this free art resource has been created with illustrator, Dunni Mustapha, to celebrate the Gallery’s fifteen-year commitment to learning and engagement with children in hospital.
Funded again by Delancey, the Gallery will this year gift 5,000 copies of Champions of the World to its five London partner hospitals: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Newham University Hospital and The Royal London Hospital.
Inspired by artworks in the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection, Champions of the World features twelve well-known figures from the worlds of sport and entertainment, including footballer, Marcus Rashford; ballet dancer, Dame Darcy Bussell; singer, Ed Sheeran; Paralympian wheelchair racer, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson; actor and rapper, Riz Ahmed; and Olympic long distance runner, Sir Mo Farah. Created with Dunni Mustapha, vector illustrations bring to life both the personalities and accompanying art activities, which are each linked to the stories of the sitters. Some encourage play – from a specially designed board game that sees you race like Paralympian Ellie Simmonds; to a finger-knitting activity, echoing Olympian Tom Daley’s pool-side creations. Others invite young people to design artistic responses, such as characters with red noses, inspired by comedian Sir Lenny Henry, or illustrate activist placards, like actor Emma Watson.
The Gallery’s Hospitals Programme encourages play, making, reading, learning, writing and creativity. This is achieved by artist-led creative workshops on the ward, in activity centres or by the bedside, as well as online and through this activity book, which can be used by young people on their own, with their families or with hospital staff. The Programme enables young people to be introduced to the Gallery and develop their creative skills. The activity book enables every child in our partner hospitals to be able to engage with art.
The National Portrait Gallery has a long-standing history of working with London’s children’s hospitals, and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme pivoted to ensure that children and families were supported remotely. Working in close collaboration with play therapists and specialists, nursing staff and hospital teachers, the Gallery ensured that opportunities remained available to children and young people, trialling digital platforms as a way of reaching isolated patients, moving face-to-face art workshops online and developing free digital resources.
Over the past 15 years, over 20,000 young people (aged 0-18) and their families have participated in creative workshop activities, which include photography, animation, sculpture, textiles, painting, performance and drawings. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, over 68,000 people accessed free activities and resources as part of the Hospitals Programme, funded by Delancey, Get Living, Here East and The Earls Court Development Company.
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, said: “The National Portrait Gallery’s long-running Hospitals Programme demonstrates the positive impact that art can have on health and wellbeing. We’re excited to launch this brand new activity book and programme of artist-led workshops, supported by our funders and facilitated by NHS staff, which will give young people and their families opportunities to engage creatively with our Collection.”
Dunni Mustapha, illustrator and creator of Champions of the World, said: “I’ve always loved the National Portrait Gallery, so was very excited to be able to work with them. Being part of the Champions of the World activity book was an amazing opportunity, and a lot of fun to do. I hope the children and young people enjoy exploring the book, and learning about the inspiring people who are featured in it.”
Champions of the World is the fourth in a series of activity books that the National Portrait Gallery has created in collaboration with artists, which include Playful Portraits (2019), My Magical Journeys (2017-18) and My Superheroes (2012). All activity books can be downloaded for free via: npg.org.uk/learning/access/hospital-schools/
The National Portrait Gallery’s Hospitals Programme is sponsored by Delancey with support from Get Living, Here East, Plexal and the Earls Court Development Company.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 to encourage, through portraiture, the appreciation and understanding of the people who have made and are making British history and culture. Today it promotes engagement with portraiture in all media to a wide-ranging public by conserving, growing and sharing the world’s largest collection of portraits. The Gallery in St Martin’s Place, London is currently closed until 2023, while essential building works take place on the Inspiring People redevelopment project, which will transform the Gallery, including a complete refurbishment of the building and a new learning centre. During the closure period, the Gallery will continue to share its Collection through its digital channels and a series of nationwide partnerships and collaborations.
Delancey is an independently owned real estate investment and development advisor with a strong track record built over 25 years. Experienced in all aspects of the residential and commercial sectors in London and across the UK, Delancey sources and negotiates direct property and corporate transactions, advises on appropriate capital structures, procures third party financing and provides pro-active asset management and development services.
Recognising the importance of responsible investing, Delancey is committed to delivering commercial outcomes that also make meaningful contributions to society and actively contribute to sustainability. Delancey and its platform businesses continuously seeks out ways to make much needed financial and in-kind contributions to the community and support charities and deserving causes in the world of art, culture, education and health, as well as in more recent times providing vital support during COVID-19. These include amongst others: the National Portrait Gallery’s Hospitals Programmes across London, the East End Community Foundation, Snow Camp youth charity, Shakespeare’s Globe and the UK’s largest children’s chess competition, the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge.