Service users and Staff at St George’s Hospital, part of Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, have been brushing up on the Bard as part of their Reading for Wellbeing sessions led by Arts for Health’s project Worker Eleanor Babb.

Service users in Brocton, Chebsey, Baswich and Bromley have concentrated on one of the four sonnets from The Merchant of Venice in support of Stafford Festival Shakespeare’s Community Engagement Outreach programme organised by Helen Wilson and funded by Stafford Gatehouse Theatre and Stafford District Arts Council.

Arts for Health’s Project Worker Eleanor Babb said “Our service users really benefit from the Reading for Wellbeing sessions where we run a shared reading approach, which involves selecting and reading aloud a short story or poem – inviting participants to take turns in reading aloud.  It is an opportunity for inpatients particularly to come together as a group, off the ward, a social activity – it has been wonderful for our service users to participate in a community programme reading and discussing the sonnet based on The Merchant  Antonio and Shylock the money lender.