Art Trolley program proves successful with patients

This month our story is from our St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside and talks about an exciting new program, the Art Trolley, that is making a great impact.

As they say, the simple things can make a world of difference.

Recovering from your treatment in a hospital bed is not the most enjoyable thing in the world, so we had to do something to make it better. Our Art Trolley provides opportunities for patients to participate in visual arts making in their rooms and on their wards, while improving their mood and wellbeing. 

The Art Trolley is a mobile creative arts service stocked with a range of art activities to offer patients the chance to get involved in activities including drawing, water colour painting, collage, colouring in, mindful drawing, weaving, origami, and other craft activities.

The trolley has a team of dedicated trained volunteer facilitators. Activity packs can also be left with patients to work on independently. The activities are suitable for beginners through to experienced artists.

The Art Trolley was officially launched at Northside at the start of 2022 having been in operation at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane for a number of years. The volunteers have been instrumental in supporting the program, through fundraising initiatives and their enthusiasm for the program.

Some of the activities are designed by a professional artist and are great for people who already engage in art making. The professional support artist also runs training sessions for our volunteer facilitators. Other activities are craft-based which anyone can do. The activities cater for all levels. Something so simple does make such a difference.

Two volunteers take the trolley around once a week for 4 hours each visiting our Breast Health Clinic, Day Oncology, Cardiac Ward and Oncology Ward. Once the activity packs were designed, volunteers all across the hospital worked together to pack up over 600 art packs to launch the service.  

From cutting hearts out of scrap cardboard boxes to creating spools, these volunteers worked together so that the packs are simple to follow, have everything required to do the activity, and are cost effective to produce.

Supporters can help keep the program going by donating towards the purchase of materials for the packs. With the help of our volunteers, packs range from $1 - $5 to produce depending on the materials needed. A little bit does go a long way!

If you have any questions about the Art Trolley and its benefits, please reach out to Jess Olding, @ or if you would like to volunteer, contact Sharyn Smith @     

Warm regards,

Gregory Potent

Foundation Manager

St Vincent's Foundation Queensland 

Better and fairer care. Always.

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