The Arts for Health Community Trust is a Waikato-based non-profit organization that serves the community by accessible art studios for any person who wants to use the creative arts as a medium through which to achieve wellness.
The Trust was established by Rosemary Biland, wife of a practicing doctor at Waikato Hospital who saw an opportunity for hospital patients to engage in meaningful activity to distract them from an often very difficult health-related experience or accident.
34 years later, the Trust has relocated to the Ward Park Arts and Crafts Centre and offers the community tools that can be used to create art and practice wellbeing in a safe and welcoming space.
The Braemar Charitable Trust has worked in partnership with Arts for Health over the last 4 years and sponsors one of the two art studios while providing funding for materials and art-based workshops runs by the Arts for Health Community Trust. These workshops were originally located in the Older Persons Rehabilitation and Stroke Wards of Waikato Hospital and now, the Cancer Lodge and Whakruruhau Women’s Refuge in Hamilton.
The hospital found that patients liked the distraction, had an activity to look forward to, and got to meet other patients in their Ward while having something to show and talk about with family and visitors.
Activities like these define Braemar’s dedication to community wellbeing, as Cass Hendry, Manager of Arts for Health Community Trust commented that Braemar’s “biggest gift is their commitment to the community and their ability to support little places like us”.