Who we are…?

Arts Care, in partnership with Health and Social Care Trusts throughout Northern Ireland, aims to make all forms of art accessible to patients, clients, residents and staff. Those who participate have the opportunity to experiment with forms of expression not usually available to them.

The process of involvement in arts activities can lead to increased communication skills and improved quality of life and it is not always essential to achieve an end result. Where an end result is achieved, e.g. a wall hanging, a sculpture, the art created by the artists and patients can be displayed on the walls or in the grounds of the health and social care settings giving the participants ownership of their environment.

The aim is to eliminate the concept of the cold and lonely hospital and to increase the sense of warmth and humanity.

Board of Directors

Arts Care Limited is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status governed by a Board of Directors from both the Arts and Medical communities. There are currently 12 members sitting on the board, which is chaired by Bob Ferguson.

Robert Ferguson OBE, Chairperson

Former: Chief Executive Officer South & East Belfast H&SS
Former: Chairman Homefirst H&SS Trust
Present: Chairman Inner East Local Commissioning group (PHSS)

Prof Randal Hayes, Vice-Chair

Former: Professor of Medicine Queen’s University & Belfast City Hospital Present: Retired

Margaret Hamilton, Treasurer

Former: Nursing Sister Whiteabbey Hospital
Former: Arts Care Chairperson Whiteabbey Hospital
Present: Retired

Paula Talbot Porter

Former: Head of Marketing at Ulster Museum
Present: Retired

Dr. Tim Wyatt OBE

Former: Consultant Clinical Microbiologist Belfast HSC Trust
Present: Locum Consultant Clinical Microbiologist Belfast HSC Trust

Prof Pascal McKeown

Director of Medical Education, Queens University Belfast

David Cochrane

Former: Senior Manager, Medical HR, Belfast HSC Trust.
Former: Director of Human Resources, South and East Belfast HSC Trust.
Present: Retired

Kate Courtenay

Former: Head (AD) Specialist Health & Disability Services – Lead for Social Work Services for Children with a disability – Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Present: Retired

Nevin Oliver

Former: Director – Business and Corporate Services, Causeway Trust, Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Present: Semi-retired. Member of the Board of Governors, Kylemore School, Coleraine

Adam Jaffa

Owner of Gentle Dental Care, Belfast
Director of Arttank Cultural and Creative Space, Belfast

Brian Barry

Former: Director of Specialist Hospitals and Women’s Health, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Present: Retired


All administration for the charity is carried out from the Arts Care office:

2 Crescent Gardens, Belfast, BT7 3NS, telephone number 02890 311122
Email: info@artscare.co.uk

The charity employs a Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jenny Elliott, who is responsible for daily management, fund-raising and implementing policy; Jenny is supported by full-time Clerical Officer, Caitlin Lawlor, and part-time Finance Officer, Tony Parker.

Arts Care Committees

Arts Care works in partnership with 5 Health and Social Care Trusts throughout Northern Ireland. Within each Trust there are Arts Care Committees, comprising an honourary chairperson and volunteers from the hospital staff, members of the Arts community in the area, and other interested parties. Artists-in-Residence and Project Artists work to these committees, which are also responsible for overseeing the management of projects within the Trusts and raising a percentage of the funding for all projects.


Arts Care engages a team of 18 Artists-in-Residence, comprising Visual Artists, a dancer, a musician and one peri-patetic Graphic Designer, working in health and social care settings throughout Northern Ireland. Each Artist-in-Residence is based in a partnership Trust and works to the Arts Care Committee within that Trust. Artists are not part of the medical team looking for medical outcomes, but are professional artists working with patients, clients, residents and staff. Arts Care practices a social model of health, endeavouring to compliment the work carried out by the medical team.

Project Artists

Health and Social Care Trusts which do not currently engage an Artist-in-Residence engage short-term Project Artists to facilitate workshops, perform concerts and run events within the Trust. Trusts who do engage Artist-in-Residence also offer work to Project Artists, in order to increase the variety of Art forms available.

Arts Care maintains a register of Project Artists who meet the necessary requirements and have been vetted and cleared according to Protection of Children and Vunerable Adult Legislation.


Arts Care was established in 1991 in order to make all forms of art accessible to patients, clients, residence, staff and visitors in Health and Social Care settings. This is still very much at the heart of Arts Care’s ethos and all projects are run with ‘participation’ in mind. For those interested in taking part, Arts Care endeavours to provide opportunities to do so, with as much variety as possible.


Arts Care has received funding from:-

  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • The Public Health Agency
  • Awards for All
  • Belfast City Council
  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Derry City Council
  • DHSS
  • Lloyds TSB
  • The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland ClownDoctors has received funding from:

  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • DHSS
  • Belfast City Council
  • BBC Children in Need
  • The Co-operative Foundation
  • Irish Youth Foundation
  • Ulster Garden Villages
  • Enkalon Foundation
  • John Moores Foundation
  • Community Foundation NI
  • Mitre Trust
  • Hedley Foundation
  • Support in kind- Johnson and Johnson Medical

Partnerships have been formed with Health Trusts.


All administration and co-ordination is carried out from the Belfast office at:

2 Crescent Gardens

Tel: 028 9031 1122
Email: info@artscare.co.uk