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Hitting the right notes at Blossom Children’s Ward

25th March 2024

Children at Craigavon Area Hospital have been enjoying unique music sessions thanks to a long-term relationship between the Ulster Orchestra and Ulster Carpets.

These special two-hour sessions at the Blossom Children’s Ward are a mixture of music making workshops for children who are able to gather in their reception area, as well as some bedside visits for those children who can’t leave their ward/room.

Linzi Hughes, Ward Manager at Blossom Children’s Ward, said, “These sessions have been so beneficial to our patients, their parents and even our staff and we want to thank the Ulster Orchestra and Ulster Carpets for making this happen.

“Those waiting in reception can be feeling anxious ahead of an appointment, but the beautiful music created a real sense of calm. For our long-term patients and those with complex sensory needs, they benefit from this wonderful music therapy.”

Ulster Orchestra freelance musician, Cecily Smith Nesbitt, who regularly delivers learning and community engagement activity for the Orchestra, leads this wonderful project which forms one part of the Orchestra’s wider learning and community engagement activity across Northern Ireland.

Lucy McCullagh, Ulster Orchestra’s Head of Community Engagement and Grants, explains, “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to connect with children, their caregivers and staff on the Blossom Ward in Craigavon Hospital. Listening to and actively participating in live music has a healing quality that can improve wellbeing and mental health which is so important for children and their caregivers during a hospital stay of any length. Thanks to Ulster Carpets for their support in making this possible.”

As part of their ongoing commitment to community projects, Ulster Carpets have been supporting the important outreach work of the Ulster Orchestra for over a decade.

Nick Coburn, Managing Director, Ulster Carpets, comments, “It is a real privilege to see the connections that Ulster Orchestra’s amazing music creates with the children on the Blossom Ward as part of this wonderful new initiative.

“We have supported the work of the Ulster Orchestra for many years and as a local employer we are proud to help extend important engagement like this that makes a tangible difference within the community.”