Hospital arts programme for elderly gets £37k

Thanks to £37,000 of new funding, Suffolk Artlink’s Forget-Me-Not-Visitors project will create a positive, friendly environment for even more older patients living with dementia at Ipswich Hospital.

The new funds have been provided by The Rayne Foundation, Limbourne Trust and Suffolk Community Foundation’s Henry Smith County Grant. The money will enable Suffolk Artlink to continue to deliver their arts project on two wards at the hospital for two more years whilst also introducing the project to two new wards.

Suffolk Artlink’s Forget-me-not Visitors are professional artists who take on the characters of 1950’s cousins Millie Marigold and Kitty Dandelion. Millie and Kitty have been paying regular visits to older patients at Ipswich Hospital since 2015. Through the use of music, poetry, reminiscence and sensory resources, the Forget-me-not Visitors help patients to relax in an unfamiliar setting, easing fear and confusion.

They also offer support to the patient’s family members, providing them with a meaningful way of reconnecting with their older relatives.

Gabrielle Cox, Suffolk Artlink Project Development Manager, said: “The gentle approach and variety of creative skills used in this medical setting makes such a difference to the wellbeing of patients and their families.

“Projects like this are not possible without the generous support of funders and donors. Thanks to this new funding we will be able to reach more people, using the arts and creativity to provide comfort and happiness at what can often be a stressful time.”

Kerry Day, Practice Development Nurse at Ipswich Hospital, added: “Older patients in hospitals can feel bored, lonely, anxious and isolated. The Forget-Me-Not Visitors change that. They fulfil the need to have contact with the world – the human contact that makes us feel loved.”

If you would like to find out more about Suffolk Artlink’s Forget-me-not Visitors Programme please contact Gabby Cox, / 01986 873955 or visit

To support Suffolk Artlink’s work, you can visit their Just Giving page: