Art for everyone – Mural unveiled at the OCCYP

Award winning artist Ashton Attzs has created this colourful mural for The Royal Marsden’s Oak Centre for Children and Young People (OCCYP).

The artist’s work now adorns the wall leading up to the Teenage and Young People’s Ward after being commissioned by the hospital’s Youth Forum to create a LGBTQ+ mural to reflect inclusion for patients and staff. The mural concept was designed by patient Joshua Stedford and final artwork funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. 

artist Ashton Attzs standing with Royal Marsden Youth Forum Member Joshua in front of the commissioned Tree of Pride inclusive mural
The Royal Marsden Youth Forum member Joshua (left) and award winning artist Ashton Attzs (right) with the unveiled mural.

Joshua, 23, said: “The Youth Forum was committed to ensuring we created something beautiful for the space that represented pride, positivity and diversity. As a young patient going through cancer treatment you can feel lonely, isolated and insecure. I was often away from my friends for long periods at a time when I was in hospital having treatment for leukaemia. It was really important for me and other members of the Youth Forum to ensure the artwork gave hope to patients. I really think Ashton’s mural will help everyone feel included.” 

Artist Ahston Attzs with their mural in the OCCYP

"I believe art is for everyone and it is lovely to see how this mural will help young people know they are in a space where inclusion is a priority."

Mural Artist, Ashton Attzs

The Royal Marsden's Youth Forum

The Royal Marsden’s Youth Forum was set up in September 2018 to provide youth representation to the service development at the hospital, enhance young patients’ life skills, increase their confidence and establish social networking. 

Joshua, member of the Youth Forum standing in front of the colourful mural smiling
The mural concept was designed by patient Joshua Stedford, a member of The Royal Marsden Youth Forum

One of the founders of the Youth Forum, Emma Thistlethwayte, Stem Cell Transplant Clinical Nurse Specialist, said: “I am so proud of Joshua and the Youth Forum for bringing this project to life. They have worked really hard to make this dream a reality. The Youth Forum were passionate about creating a space that made all our patients in the OCCYP feel welcome and included. Ashton’s finished piece does just that. It has been lovely to see patients of all ages appreciate it, from toddlers navigating the corridor on trikes to teenagers walking past and understanding its important meaning.” 

Ben Hartley, Royal Marsden Cancer Charity funded Trust Arts Officer, said: “This has been an important project for the Youth Forum to work on with Ashton. Meaningful visual art has been shown to have a significant impact on patients and staff within hospital environments, so it is lovely to see this collaborative commission come to fruition.” 

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