4 July 2023
Wellbeing facilities funded by Game Changer artwork opened to staff at University Hospital Southampton
Staff at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) can enjoy a purpose-built wellbeing hub, rooftop garden and refurbished communal spaces, thanks to funding from the sale of the Banksy Game Changer artwork.
The artwork, featuring a child choosing to play with a caped toy nurse instead of more traditional superhero figures, was displayed at Southampton General Hospital after being gifted to Southampton Hospitals Charity in 2020 with the intention of being sold.
Proceeds from its £16.3m sale at auction are being widely distributed to healthcare organisations and charities across the UK, funding work to enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS. Within the gift was a specific request that a proportion be allocated to the staff of UHS.
The wellbeing hub and rooftop garden were developed with staff at UHS and will be officially opened this week, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service.
The UHS Wellbeing Hub features an open plan gym, lounge, kitchen, changing and shower facilities as well as multi-purpose rooms where staff can take part in team events, development, and wellbeing activities.
The hub also features a Change Please coffee outlet, an award-winning social enterprise organisation aimed at tackling homelessness in the community.
The space, that was designed by Williams Architects and built by Integra Buildings, includes a cycle park and landscaped staff garden area, promoting a key initiative in the Trust’s sustainability work and commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.
The rooftop garden at Princess Anne Hospital provides staff with a covered seating area and garden designed by local firm Strata, including a wildlife friendly area to support the hospital estate’s commitment to biodiversity.
Working alongside the contractors to oversee the developments, the UHS estates and facilities team have also helped deliver 40 staff rooms across the Trust which were upgraded using the Banksy funding to provide more comfortable facilities for thousands of staff.
Steve Harris, Chief People Officer at University Hospital Southampton said, “We are enormously grateful for the donation received to build spaces that will enable our UHS staff to have dedicated areas to rest, recharge and reflect. The wellbeing projects will also provide a legacy to staff who continue every day to go above and beyond for all of us.”
Richard Willmott, Director at Strata Design Ltd said, “We are delighted to be involved in a project actively supporting NHS staff wellbeing and it is great to work on something so positive. Access to green spaces has proven health benefits, and the design is intended to deliver maximum benefit to both staff and wildlife. The rooftop garden will also contribute towards creating a greener campus, increasing biodiversity value, and supporting the UHS Green Plan.”
Gary Parker, Chief Executive Officer at Integra, contractor partner with UHS, said, “To be awarded this contract was a huge privilege, and we’ve enjoyed working with UHS to provide staff with a relaxing environment to enjoy breaks from their challenging work.”