Helium Arts collaborates with children and young people living with illness in community settings across the country, using filmmaking, music, artmaking, puppetry and more. Our projects take place in partnership with patient support groups and cultural institutions, bringing opportunities for fun, friendship, self-expression and the development of creative skills to young participants.
‘Doing the project was really good because it made us feel normal, not sick kids having a little bit of fun. It felt like us teenagers are in control of what we want to come up with.’ – Participant on our Two Suitcases project in partnership with CanTeen Ireland, the national young people's cancer support group
On Helium’s award-winning film, music and art project for teenagers living with chronic illness, participants collaborate with professional filmmakers, musicians and visual artists on developing and making their own work.
Since 2012, we have partnered with a number of support organisations on the project including CanTeen Ireland, the national young people’s cancer support group, Epilepsy Ireland and Diabetes Ireland.
'My daughter liked getting to talk to other kids with epilepsy and getting to do an activity which she found very enjoyable. She also found getting help from an artist very beneficial.' - Parent, Electric Feathers art project with Epilepsy Ireland, 2018
On Helium’s art workshops, teenagers living with chronic illnesses are given the opportunity to take control of the creative process and to work with an artist as equals, supporting the development of independence, decision-making and communication skills and helping to build self-esteem.
'It was the best day me and (my child) have spent together in a long time.’ - Parent taking part in Fluffy and Friends workshop
Fluffy and Friends: Puppet Workshops
Helium’s puppet-making workshops for children living with chronic illness are an opportunity for children to come together and explore their illness in a fun and non-threatening environment with other children living with the same illness. The children explore story-making, characterisation and puppet play and put on a short performance for parents.
The workshops are also an opportunity for parents to share and learn from each other as their children interact.
Teddy Bear Check Up
Our Teddy Bear Check Up aims to alleviate childhood anxiety about the medical environment, its procedures and the professionals that work within it through imaginative and creative play which provides education, preparation, and positive experiences and memories. Friendly medical students are on hand to offer their expertise and real instruments for some imaginative doctor-play guided by the child.
‘A lovely learning experience for kids’ – Parent, Blackrock