The Art of Portering - Breathe

The Art of Portering

An innovative workforce development programme that provides visual art training to porters and connects them with patients through the Guy's and St Thomas' art collection

A collaboration with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, and Breathe wordsmith and poet Simon Mole. The Art of Portering highlights the Charity’s fine art and heritage collection through the eyes of the portering team.

A hospital porter is involved in almost every situation in the hospital. They travel long distances every day, supporting patients and staff as they journey through hospital sites.

Uniquely, at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, those journeys often take them past many extraordinary pieces of art or history, as they are homes to one of the largest and oldest collections of fine art and heritage in hospitals in the UK. The Art of Portering project has informed a revamp of the art displays at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, and brightened up the porter’s routes.

Watch our overview film for an insight into The Art of Portering project.

Porters selected specific artworks to be displayed in the areas which are most frequently navigated through by patients and staff.

Breathe poet Simon Mole worked with the porters to create unique poems about the pieces, to enhance performance and communication skills, and provide the team with creative talking points to use as they escort patients across the hospital.

Download our map to see where you can find the display across Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

It’s a great idea. On the way to my appointment we had to wait for the lift so it was really interesting to learn about the different pieces of art. Anything that makes the place look a bit brighter can only be a good thing.
Michael, Guy's and St Thomas' Patient

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