Free newspaper created in Weston for NHS patients

Anna Farthing and Fiona Matthews reading Boredom Busters newspaper on Weston Beach. Picture: Paul Bl

Anna Farthing and Fiona Matthews reading Boredom Busters newspaper on Weston Beach. Picture: Paul Blakemore - Credit: Archant

A number of artists have contributed to a newspaper for the NHS which was created in Weston.

Thousands of NHS patients across the UK will soon be enjoying the Boredom Buster publication, which will be launched in hospitals later this month.

The 48-page newspaper has been produced for the NHS National Performance Advisory Group for Arts, Design and Heritage in Hospitals, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) in partnership with Culture Weston.

The first edition is a collaborative project between the arts and culture sector, hospital arts teams and participatory arts professionals.

Packed with articles, activities and images, it is designed for adults and older teenagers to boost mood and alleviate anxiety and provides an interactive kit of creative items.

As well as reading, patients are encouraged to immerse themselves in drawing, writing, tearing and folding to make each copy their own.

Anna Farthing, arts programme director at UHBW, said: “We are very grateful for the generosity of all of the contributors, seed funding from Above and Beyond charity and our ongoing collaboration with Culture Weston.

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“At a time when visiting is restricted, patients are in even greater need of an individual resource that can provide engaging things to do and think about.

“Boredom Buster activities are fun and they are also based on research. Content has been carefully selected to help patients communicate, maintain cognitive function and manual dexterity, and express their identity.

“The interest shown by colleagues from all over the country has been overwhelming.”

The Boredom Buster will have 60,000 copies in care settings across the country, including in Weston and Bristol.

It will also be delivered to care homes in Weston as part of Culture Weston and UHBW’s ongoing arts and health programme in the town.

Fiona Matthews, creative director of Culture Weston, said: “Weston has a distinctive history as a health resort, and we hope that the Boredom Buster’s fresh and creative energy will spread a little proverbial sunshine to hospital wards up and down the country.”

To order copies of the Boredom Buster Summer Annual, email