Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing team at Cardiff & Vale Health Charity are pleased to announce they are commissioning a number of artists to produce work that celebrates and acknowledges the contribution of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The Black Lives Matter movement highlighted the issues and barriers faced everyday by our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) patients, colleagues and friends. It has also drawn our attention to the many ways in which we need to continue to progress and change to remove these barriers.  The Health Board recognises that issues exist here in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, not just elsewhere and stand in support of our BAME colleagues and against all racism, and prejudice or discriminatory behaviour.

Health Board staff from the BAME community play such a fundamental part in, and make a vital contribution to, the NHS in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan across general practice, community, mental health, hospital services, and in commissioning. The Health Board is very proud of their work and commitment as part of the wider NHS team. Without this contribution, we would simply not be able to offer the level of patient care and services which patients in need. We understand the importance of leading by example to embed positive change and retain the confidence and trust of our BAME colleagues.

Artwork by Clare Williams

Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing want to commission art projects to provide messages of support, respect and to reaffirm our commitment to continue to work with our staff, colleagues and provide support as part of our collective commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion for all, not just while this is so prominent in the media, but every day.  The team put out a call for artists to submit proposals in order to help achieve this and received an overwhelming response.

Monies made available from NHS Charities Together have allowed the Arts team to work with new and exciting artists to further promote its inclusion agenda. These include;

Kyle Legall

Kyle intends on creating a cluster of images of characters who are representative of the Health Boards staff from all the various roles within a health care system.

The work will be installed on a billboard in Grangetown and throughout Health Board sites.

Kyle has been developing relationships with staff who volunteered to be part of the project to help him understand their roles and what a typical working day is like.

 Kyle said: “During these strange times, I have loved being involved in this project.  Meeting NHS staff and hearing about their stories about what it’s been like for them during the pandemic has helped me to design these images through my eyes, interpreting what they’ve been through, I see them as superheroes and I hope my art reflects that.

Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing is also delighted to have worked with colleagues and Diverse Cymru to shortlist four wonderful and diverse artists as part of this programme, which are Adele Pask, Kolia Bene, Clare Williams and Ophelia dos Santos.  These artists will be contributing pieces in a variety of mediums including textile, embroidery, mural painting, written and spoken word and portraiture to celebrate equality and diversity.  The arts team are looking forward to unveiling these works in summer 2021 as part of the 2021-2022 Arts for Health and Wellbeing programme.

Simone Joslyn, Head of Arts “We are looking forward to unveiling these powerful projects which aim to celebrate the unique contribution everybody makes within the Health Board and celebrates inclusion.

Keithley Wilkinson, Equality Manager at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “These art works will truly be a celebration of the diversity of people who work within Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  It is really exciting and poignant to have these art works displayed across our communities and in our healthcare settings in support of our diverse workforce fully incorporated within the artwork.  I hope they show the importance of unity and compassion as we strive for equality and inclusion.

To find out more about Cardiff and Vale Arts for Health and Wellbeing visit their website http://www.cardiffandvale.art

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