LIME: Arts and Health

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Lime's mission is to embed the arts and creativity in the culture of healthcare at MFT to improve the health and wellbeing of staff and patients.

Established in 1973, Lime boasts global recognition as one of the longest standing arts and health organisations in the world.

Our vision is that the hospital will be welcoming, reassuring and people centred, where staff are empowered to use creativity to support their own and patient wellbeing, and where patients feel connected, supported and safe

Lime’s work is driven by the belief that creativity has a powerful role to play in self-determination, well-being and the health of society. Lime projects compliment delivery of clinical care and transform healthcare environments to enhance quality of life, for thousands of NHS staff and patients, every year.

Lime’s international reputation is maintained by a long standing commitment to diverse artistic commissioning and inclusive modes of engagement and participation. These commitments present major stakeholders, sponsors and donors, opportunity to invest in exceptionally cost effective arts projects with lasting legacies and long term benefits for MFT staff, patients, families, carers and visitors.

Left: Bereaved mothers working with Glass Artist Sasha Ward to develop designs for RMCH Paediatric Mortuary Arts Project. Right: final artwork + designs. Images 2017 Lime ©

Lime’s programme includes several key strands of work:


Lime is delighted to invite all MFT staff to participate in the inaugural Create.Connect.Unwind Festival – A vibrant celebration of creativity and wellbeing for MFT staff

18-20th May @ Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Pavillion Stage, Boulevard, Oxford Road Campus

In 2020 Lime Art and the Employee Health & Wellbeing Service  launched a ground-breaking creative wellbeing project for MFT staff – CREATE.CONNECT.UNWIND+   At a particularly hectic and exhausting time for many, Lime invited staff to join award winning artists and musicians to explore how creativity can quickly take us away from work pressure and ‘refresh’ the brain to improve concentration and help us connect, communicate and care better for ourselves and each other.  

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to do something creative after a stressful day at work. It helped me relax, put things into perspective, and helped me reflect on how I’ve been feeling. Everyone should try this!” Macmillan Matron


From Wednesday 18th May –  Friday 20th May 2022 the Oxford Road Campus Boulevard will become a hub of creative activity, vibrant colour and soothing sounds with our festival pavilion stage providing a venue for a range of unique creative activities and events, hosted by internationally acclaimed guest artists + musicians. The festival will also provide a platform to showcase artworks created by MFT staff, during the 136 workshops delivered by Lime artists since July 2020.  

Offering something for everyone, highlights of the festival programme include: 

  • Indian Dance Workshops with Sheetal Maru, Wednesday 18th May, 12.30-1pmpm, 2.30-3pmpm, 4-4.30pm – 30 minute drop-ins that will bring energy + positivity to your day!
  • Breaking the Silence @ Create Connect Unwind: Spoken word, poetry and flash fiction celebrating connection and creativity in healthcare. Hosted by MFT’s very own Clinical Educator Christopher Seymour, and featuring performances from UK’s leading spoken word artists and poets including Nathan Parker, Paige Dease and Esther ‘Estie’ Koch, PLUS music by gospel/jazz pianist Mark McKenzie. Thursday 19 May, 5pm
  • Music for Mind + Soul: A concert of classical Indian music from Milap artists Akash Parekar (sitar) and Harkiran Singh Sahota (tabla).  (Milap is the UK’s leading Indian arts development agency). Friday 20 May, 4.30pm
  • Pop-up exhibition: This exhibition will celebrate some of the extraordinary and inspiring artworks created by MFT staff through Lime’s Create.Connect.Unwind programme, which has delivered 136 workshops to over 700 staff since June 2020.  Friday 20 May, 4pm – 7pm.


Wednesday 18th May Pavilion Stage ORC Boulevard

  • 08:30 – 09:30am: Live Music – Rebecca Mills (harp)
  • 10:30am – 5:00pm: Embroidery Workshop with Dab Hands + Lucy Burscough (DROP IN)
  • 12:30 – 1:00pm: Indian Dance Workshop with Sheetal Maru (DROP IN)
  • 2:30 – 3:00pm: Indian Dance Workshop with Sheetal Maru (DROP IN)
  • 4:00 – 4:30pm: Indian Dance Workshop with Sheetal Maru (DROP IN)

Thursday 19th May Pavilion Stage ORC Boulevard

  • 08:30 – 09:30am: Live Music – Stringboxes (kora + double bass)
  • 10:30am – 4:00pm: Embroidery Workshop with Dab Hands (DROP IN)
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm: Live Music – Manchester Reed Trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon)
  • 2:30 – 3:30pm: Printmaking Workshop with artist Colette Whittington
  • 5:00 – 6:30pm: BREAK THE SILENCE @ Create Connect Unwind. Spoken Word, Poetry and Flash Fiction celebrating connection and creativity in healthcare, featuring music by Mark McKenzie.

Friday 20th May Pavilion Stage ORC Boulevard

  • 08:30 – 09:30am: Live Music – Martin Bickerton (classical guitar)
  • 1:30 – 2:00pm: Live Music – Holly Marland (kora + voice)
  • 2:00 – 4:00pm: CREATE.CONNECT.UNWIND Symposium (INVITATION ONLY)
  • 4:30 – 7:00pm: FESTIVAL CLOSING EVENT and Pop-Up gallery and exibition of staff artworks PLUS Live music concert – Milap presents…. Music for the Mind + Soul Featuring Akash Parekar (sitar) and Harkiran Singh Sahota (tabla)

All events are FREE for MFT staff to attend & drop-in, so no need to book!!

Visit the Lime Portal for full festival listings 

Help us spread the word!  Help us promote the festival by following and retweeting Lime activity on Insta and Twitter: @limearthealth 

What do NHS staff think about accessing the arts?

Force Behind the Scenes

How to Make a Fantasy World Collage with Colette Whittington

Environmental Arts Programme

Lime transforms hospital spaces into therapeutic environments. Our expert team coordinate artistic commissioning of high profile artists and designers who work closely with patients, service users and staff to carefully develop bespoke artworks that are tailored to support the complexities and individual needs of services and departments.

“Children can now better cope with fear and anxiety associated with the hospital environment and radiological procedures. Thank you LIME Arts for making our children happier and my job much more enjoyable

Rui M. F. Santos (MD) Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK

Starship X-Ray’ RMCH Imaging Department main reception (before + after) Image 2018 Lime ©
Music + Printmaking with staff and patients at MRI. Image 2019 Lime ©

Participatory Art Programme

We coordinate and deliver multidisciplinary participatory art projects on wards and at the bedsides of patients across MFT. Professional visual artists, musicians, performance artists and dancers; who are equipped with skills and expertise, sensitively engage staff and patients, in complex hospital settings. Our participatory projects promote staff and patient wellbeing and are tailored to complement and support delivery of services. This programme provides training and mentoring for professional artist/musicians and students.

RMCH Music for Health

A specialist music team deliver multiple music projects and host music residencies in the wards and at the bedside with children, young people, families and staff at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. The Music for Health team also delivers accredited training for music and medical students at The Royal Northern College of Music and The University of Manchester Medical School.

Artist in Residence Programme

Artists in Residence work closely with staff and patient groups in acute hospital settings to explore, through the process of printmaking, how creativity can generate fresh insights into current NHS priorities. This strand of work is Arts Council Funded.

Screen-printing with nurses on wards 45 +46 at MRI. Image 2019 Lime ©

Public Performance Programme

In partnership with RNCM, Live Music now and Music in Hospitals, Lime coordinates over 100 musical performances in the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital public atrium every year, providing a combination of classical, folk, jazz and world music for thousands of MFT staff, patients and visitors.

Hospital Printmaking Studio

Our printmaking studio is a unique creative space where ALL MFT staff can access high quality art activity, including printmaking workshops and demonstrations delivered by the UK’s leading artists and printmakers. We provide Printmaking sessions that support MFT Employee Health and Wellbeing Agenda. Sessions are advertised on MFT iNews and are available to all MFT staff free of charge. We can also tailor workshops specifically for your team for staff away days and team building workshops.

Screen-printing workshops with MRI Activity Coordinators Image 2019 Lime ©

Awards and Recognition

Lime has received numerous awards and recognition, including, in recent years, a Highly Commended award from the Design and Health International Academy, multiple Building Better Healthcare awards including, the international category ‘Patient Choice’ award and ‘Best Collaborative Arts Project’ award, the NHS in the North Excellence in Supply award and a Commendation from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity at Westminster.

The Arts Team

Programme Director – Dawn Prescott

Art and Music Project Manager – Kate Hartwell

Administrator – Rosemary Howes

Contact us

If you would like to know more and/or discuss a project please get in touch.


Phone: 0161 276 5839

Follow us on Insta + Twitter:  @limearthealth

(Please note: Lime’s new website is currently under construction.)

All Lime projects are supported through charitable funding.