Thanks to the JC, Jewish News and The Jewish Weekly for featuring this news.

A colourful mural painted by a Camp Simcha volunteer is now brightening the walls of a Whittington Hospital post-operative recovery room – converted from adult to paediatric use due to Covid-19.

The bright, animal scene features various creatures playing on pipes and medical machines similar to the ones which are in the room.

Artist Alessandra Tortone, from Kilburn, who has been painting Camp Simcha hospital murals for nearly seven years, explains: “The recovery room had lots equipment in it by the wall, which I thought could look a bit frightening for children. I decided to incorporate that into the mural, hopefully making it all feel less scary, with the animals having fun around all the hospital pipes and tubes.”

Whittington Hospital Recovery team leader Francis Johnston said the creation of the cheerful child-friendly space was really important, because children often emerge from surgery feeling confused or anxious, and wanting their mummy or daddy.

“The mural donated to us here at the Whittington will enable us to make a difference to all of the children coming through our recovery room as it will help put them at ease, having a calming effect and hopefully cheering them up.

“It will also help to distract children from any anxiety as it enables the nurses to talk about the painting and discuss the colours and animals that are integral in the mural, keeping them occupied until they are collected by the ward nurse and delivered safely back to their parents.”

Camp Simcha Hospital Outreach Co-ordinator Joanne Woolich said: “Over the years, Alessandra has painted some amazing murals for hospitals we support via Camp Simcha’s outreach programme. We are so grateful for all her time and the creativity she puts into making each space look so wonderful.”