Touching Heritage Volunteer Programme

This innovative three-year project took museum objects to the bedsides of hospital patients and older people in residential care homes to understand the impact of handling and discussing museum objects on patient wellbeing and happiness.

Over 250 participants read the Patient Information Leaflet and signed the Consent Form agreeing to take part in the research and for digital audio recording (Medical Research Ethics Committee Approval MREC 06/Q050/78).

Measures of wellbeing and happiness consisting of PANAS (Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule), Wellness VAS and Happiness VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) were compared before and after the handling sessions.

Artist Residency
During the Heritage in Hospitals project, an Artist in Residence was employed to produce two exhibitions at University College Hospital and the Touch and Wellbeing interactive website to reflect the patients' experiences of object handing.

The 'Touch and Wellbeing' is an online interactive exhibition of work by artist Mary Hooper shadowing this research project Heritage in Hospitals, a partnership between University College London and UCLH Arts, the arts project for University College Hospitals.

Mary worked with researchers from UCL over a period of 18 months investigating the benefits to wellbeing of using museum handling collections with hospital patients at their bedside. This website is her response to the research.  Click here to open up a pop-up window - we recommend that you have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 and are up to date with the latest Flash Plugin.

Touch and Wellbeing website design: Elise Liversedge
Touch and Wellbeing website construction: Nick and Jon Weekes

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