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Creative Breaks

Testing the impact of taking a lunch break and engaging in a creative activity on staff wellbeing in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care


Creative BreaksPhoto by Joe Dixon - 'Book Binding Joe'         

Few people take regular lunch breaks away from their desk or place of work and this is potentially harmful to wellbeing. It is particularly an issue in the clinical practice of nursing care and nursing education. This project challenges this culture by setting aside one hour every week when all staff and students of the faculty are encouraged to switch off, log off and do something other than work. Creative Breaks saw a series of taster creative activities – including bookbinding, photography, drawing and movement take place – to encourage staff and students to engage in a new activity.


Project events

The weekly Creative Breaks workshops were:

Sarah McCartney - Artisan Perfume 

Joe Dixon: Bookbinding Taster Session     

Angela Maddock: French Knitting Championships 

Jane Porter: Gouache Leafy Postcards workshop 

Movement and Breath: Yoga based relaxation workshop       

Sarah Christie: Move Along: Collaborative Drawing

Lorna Hamilton-Brown: Bird Song: Tunisian Crochet

National Theatre: Behind the Scenes Tour

Emma Barnard: Capturing Stillness through Photography 

Tanvi Kant: Celebrating Diwali with Rangoli Embroidery 

Pauline Cooper: The Time is Write: Creative Writing 

Valentina Passoni: Sing Your Heart Out

Angela Maddock: Verb Play: Working with Clay 

Heather Orr: ‘Make a Macrame Wreath’ 

Sophie - Grain & Knot: Spoon Carving and Whittling

Sarah Hardy: At the Seaside: Making a Chocolate Seashell Gift Box

Project team

Dr Sue Woodward - academic lead
Dr Sue Woodward worked clinically within the field of neurosciences nursing almost exclusively since she qualified as a registered nurse in 1988 and has worked in a number of regional neuroscience units around London. Sue became a full-time lecturer at King's College London in 1999. She completed a four-year term as Head of Department for specialist and palliative care and completed her PhD studies in 2011. Sue has co-edited the “Oxford Handbook of Neuroscience Nursing” (2009) and "Neuroscience Nursing - Evidence-based Practice" (2011), the only two neuroscience nursing texts published in the UK. 

Sue’s current research focuses on bowel management in inflammatory bowel disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Sue has particular interests and expertise in bladder and bowel care within neuroscience, management of patients with long-term neurological conditions and clinical education. She is Chair of the Royal College of Nursing Neurosciences Forum committee, founding editor and Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, Commissioning Editor of the British Journal of Nursing and was a member of the NICE Guideline Development Group for urinary incontinence in neurological disorders. Sue was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing in 2017.

Dr Angela Maddock - artistic lead
Dr Angela Maddock is maker in residence in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care. She is a visiting tutor in textile practice at the Royal College of Art (RCA), and Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea College of Art, where she previously managed the MA Textiles programme and taught undergraduate and postgraduate contextual studies. She has a PhD by practice from the RCA. Angela is a King’s Artist and contributes to programmes across the college, including Clinical Humanities for Medicine. She is particularly interested in the reflective processes involved in making and our connection with cloth, both literal and metaphoric. She is a recipient of a Parallel Practices Award from the British Crafts Council, which supported her initial work with the faculty. Angela is creative lead for this project.

Dr Jenny Oates
Dr Jenny Oates is a lecturer in mental health with a clinical background in community health and liaison psychiatry. Her research interests are staff and student wellbeing, professional roles and regulation. She is leading on the evaluation of Creative Breaks. 

Creative Breaks: making time for creativity in the working day is a collaboration between King's College London's Department of Adult Nursing and artist Angela Maddock. It was supported by the university's Culture team.

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