Sir John and Lady Hurt visited the Huntercombe Hospital Norwich to meet the young patients and to watch a play that they are putting on with the help of students from the University of East Anglia School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, Faculty of Humanities.
The University drama students are working with the young patients, who have mental health needs, as part of their degree course.
The recently Knighted Sir John was impressed by the hospital staff’s care and treatment and its facilities to help the young people recover from their illness.
Sir John said: “I was stunned by what I saw at the hospital. The care, patience and respect shown to these young people by all the staff is truly humbling.”
The young patients presented Sir John with a hand-made book inscribed with personal messages.
Ralph Yarrow, Emeritus Professor at UEA, said: ‘I am really pleased with the way the UEA Drama students have negotiated the task and assessed the young people’s needs in order to create a piece which allows them to express their own creative potential and develop their confidence. We view this kind of engagement as vitally important in the community and as a demonstration of the real contribution drama work can make. I look forward to further collaboration between the University and the hospital.”
Neil West, Senior Manager with The Huntercombe Hospital Group said: “The collaboration with the University of East Anglia has been extremely beneficial for our patients. Many of the young people here have a traumatic past and so it’s important that positive engagement, respect and encouragement are fundamental aspects of the care we provide. Through the play the students have helped our patients to experience working together in co-operation as part of a team; to express themselves; to encourage one another and to grow not only in confidence but as more rounded people.
“I am so grateful to Sir John and Lady Hurt for taking the time to visit the hospital. It was a real privilege that meant so much to everyone here to have a world renowned actor watch their play being performed.”