Wakefield schoolboy is praised for ‘Art for Health’ initiative

QEGS student Varun Kumar has launched Art for Health which aims to calm patients in medical settings.
QEGS student Varun Kumar has launched Art for Health which aims to calm patients in medical settings.

An aspiring medic has launched an ‘Art for Health’ initiative to help patients relax at health centres.

Varun Kumar, 17, from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School has launched a series of exhibitions of artwork, featuring work from QEGS students in Year 11 and A-Level, in various waiting rooms.

The aim of the initiative is to help calm patients who may suffer anxiety in a medical environment.

For the last 18 months Varun has been employed by the NHS at a centre in Askern, Doncaster undertaking various health care assistant roles including taking bloods and measuring blood pressure. He has also volunteered at the Meadow Lodge Care Home in Kellington near Knottingley, which helps patients suffering with dementia.

Varun said: “This work experience also exposed me first hand to the anxiety that some patients feel when attending the practice for routine medical procedures and consultations, leading me to pursue his idea of using art to aid relaxation as part of a complimentary medicine approach.

“My first exhibition took place at the end of last year, and now having contacted a number of Health Centres in Yorkshire and the North, I have a number of exhibitions lined up in the coming months in locations including Bury, Mexborough and Knottingley.”

His latest ‘Art for Health’ exhibition was on show earlier this month at the opening of the new Medi Centre in Warrington. The centre was opened by health minister and Warrington South MP David Mowat.

Its new world class facilities include a theatre suite with the ability to complete X-rays and ultrasound scans as well as an MRI screening unit.

Varun added: “There was a huge turnout of patients who were amazed at the quality of artwork of the QEGS students, and were fascinated by the ‘Art for Health’ patient well-being initiative to create a more uplifting environment for patients in northern England.”

A school spokeswoman said: “This is a truly fantastic initiative by Varun. He is the brainchild behind a unique initiative combining his passion for both art and the sciences, with his desire to address patient well-being in a medical environment. If any medical practice across West Yorkshire is interested in featuring the ‘Art for Health’ exhibition, please contact Varun via the QEGS School Office on office@qegsss.org.uk.”