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Your Hospital's Got Talent Entries 2015

Below you'll find all 27 entries from the 2015 Your Hospital's Got Talent exhibition.  We hope you enjoy this collection of amazing staff talent as much as we've enjoyed creating it!

Andrew Thomas

Records Services Operative and Carillon Bell Ringer

York Hospital

“The carillon bells are played with both hands and feet, like an organ. I can alter how loud the bell sounds by how hard I press the note. The bells can be clearly heard outside the minster and are audible half a mile away.  My job is far from a typical administrative job in that it is physically active and very little of it is desk bound. This enables me (afterwork) to do around 15 hours organ practice a week.  The carillon is located high up in the bell tower and must be the best working location within the whole of York. There are good views over the city and on a summer evening it is possible to see the sun setting over the Yorkshire dales.” 

Anna MacGladrie

Cancer Pathway Coordinator and Artist

York Hospital

"I studied Fine Art at College and then Jewellery and Silversmithing at University, I have always had a passion for Art and Design and spend a lot of my spare time painting, designing and being creative.
I particularly enjoy painting people's faces, normally using acrylic paint. Trying to capture someone's presence or emotion is challenging but rewarding and I love being able to switch off and get lost in the painting. As well as portrait painting I really enjoy experimenting with Illustration, Typography and Linocuts which is a printmaking technique."

Avijit Datta

Consultant Respiratory Physician and Photographer

York Hospital

‘Barn Owl hunting in evening sunlight’
“My photographic heroes as a child were Henri Carter-Bresson, who coined the term “the decisive moment” and ultimately founded Magnum Photos, and Ansel Adams who captured images of the Americas. Both were mindful of composition, light and shade and made iconic images. The Chinese would write poetry for thousands of years with painting; Shu Shi called poems “imageless pictures”. My photography derives from an interest in Art, Optics and Emotion; it requires patience. I would encourage everyone to take an interest in it.
As Cartier-Bresson said: ‘Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.’”

Cassie Holmes

Staff Nurse and Runner

York Hospital

"I’d always dabbled in running, but in 2012 I decided to join local running club, York Knavesmire Harriers. I take part in a number of different running disciplines. I compete in the local road race league; races across the country; and recently completed my first marathon. In the last few years I’ve also taken part in cross country events and had the opportunity to go to the Northern and National Cross Country Championships, competing against some of Britain’s finest. My favourite discipline is fell running, mainly because of the beautiful countryside you are running in (Yorkshire Moors and Dales). I love running, the rush of adrenaline from competing; the fun and camaraderie had with friends; and the occasional awards/prizes."

Catherine Hull

Assistant Medical Secretary and Art Journalist

York Hospital

“I have always been interested in anything artistic. If I couldn't create then life would be dull! In 2001 I initially wanted to swap art with other artists and took part in artist trading card swaps (ATCs) for a long time until I discovered art journaling about five years ago. An art journal is a visual journey of your personal thoughts and ideas very similar to a diary but this is the place where you can express yourself through collage, drawing, painting, stamping, photographs and writing from the heart. This is the personal place where you can journal about everything under the sun...without looking for the approval of an audience or worrying what someone else might think. Above all it is a place to have fun!”

Gill Ratcliffe

Health Care Assistant and Photographer

York Hospital

"I’ve taken photos since I was 15, I take photos most days, I enjoy it because you can capture your memories.  I think that a photograph is good, not when the shot is perfect, but when there is some kind of feeling.  How many times have you gone to a friend or family member’s home and picked up a photo album? Were you able to go through that album without smiling at least once? Probably not. If you’re like me, you probably turned through the pages and re-lived some of the memories in the pictures. I’m sure you said things like ““I remember this!” or “We had so much fun here!” It didn’t matter that the photos were probably taken by an amateur."

Ian Chapman

Cancer Pathway Coordinator and Volunteer Makeup Artist

York Hospital

"I had the opportunity to get involved with the cancer charity Look Good Feel Better when I worked in cosmetics. It was a way of giving something back through the work that I did. Look Good Feel Better is a charity that supports women with cancer to overcome the visible side effects, using makeup and colour combined with fun and confidence. This is done through small workshops run in hospitals around the country. Cosmetic companies donate all of the products we use and the volunteers all donate their time. People leave with a bag full of goodies and hopefully feeling much better about themselves. I now work in the cancer team at York Hospital so volunteering at the workshops is even more meaningful and rewarding."

Jacky Welsh

Discharge Liaison Nurse and Crochet Maker

Scarborough Hospital

"I started to crochet a long time ago, but then put it aside in favour of other crafts.  A couple of years ago, after reading an online blog [Attic 24] I found that crochet was no longer doilies and lacy cardigans, but could be big, bold and modern.  Yarn today is fabulous, from the massively expensive pure wool or more economical acrylic and comes in fabulous contemporary colours.  I get a lot of pleasure from making stuff for other people and hope that they get pleasure receiving them, whether it's a blanket, a hat or something as small as a key ring. I also make a good 'cat's bum' coaster!  My big problem is having several projects on the go at once and not having enough time to work on them all."

Jacq Whittaker

Cancer Pathway Coordinator, Tiler and Rag Rugger

York Hospital

"Before I joined the NHS I kept myself busy as a self-employed tiler - up until the recession hit.  Not to be beaten, I updated a few qualifications and have been here ever since currently working with my colleagues in the Cancer Information Team.  To keep up with my creative drive I now make these traditional heavy duty rugs made from pure wool fabrics for durability and incombustible qualities.  They’re great for in front of an open fire or stove, for hallways, kitchens and dogs seem to love resting their bones on them too."

  Janet Cowan

HR Administrator and Photographer

York Hospital

"I was given a camera for my birthday a couple of years ago and enjoy taking photographs of all different subjects. I took up gardening 2 years ago and was keen to plant things which would encourage wild life into the garden.  I was delighted when I was able to take a picture of this beautiful butterfly.  I also love to photograph places such as The Langdale Pikes in the Lake District.  I enjoy the challenge of capturing the different moods the mountain can create with different weather conditions."

Jax Westmoreland

Pharmacist and Amateur Lepidopterist

Scarborough and York Hospital

“I’ve always liked butterflies but became fascinated with moths after volunteering with Butterfly Conservation (they conserve moths too!). I bought a moth trap in order to learn more. Moths are attracted to a mercury vapour lamp, hide in egg boxes in the trap and the following morning are docile enough to be recorded, photographed and released.  I’ve recorded 460 species in the garden so far but with more than 1700 species in Yorkshire there are plenty left to see. Moths can sometimes be tricky to identify but the county has a thriving mothing community, always willing to help and encourage. So, are they all little brown jobs that eat your clothes? I don’t think so!”

John Raymond Javier

Health Care Assistant and Artist

York Hospital

“At an early age I was exposed to drawing and sketching. I would watch my uncle draw some of my favourite cartoon heroes until I finally managed to draw on my own.  Having a degree in Architecture back in the Philippines has also helped me in honing my talent. When I came to the UK back in 2010, I got a job in a care home.  I was asked to do a caricature for our Care Home Manager who was leaving.  Everyone loved what I did and started to ask if I could do one for them. On each and every friend’s birthday, I always squeeze some time to do a caricature as a gift. This is also my means to relax and flush out all the stress and tiredness I have from a long day’s work.”

Linda Pearson

Staff Nurse and Expressive Artist

Selby Hospital

“I have been using the arts to explore aspects of myself for twenty years.  My first experience was during IVF treatment when I felt sick for weeks.  A wise friend suggested that if there was nothing wrong organically, perhaps my body was trying to rid itself of something.  I picked up a pen and wrote pages of poems – the sickness disappeared and I was surprised by what I had written.Getting to know ourselves is important and art works in ways that the intellect alone can’t.I run day workshops for others to experience using the arts in this way and I am a member of the steering committee of LivingSpirituality. “

Lisa Wells

HR Administrator and Photographer

York Hospital

“My talent is photography. I guess it all started when I was a child and I used to steal my dad's point-and-click film camera and take pictures of slugs in the garden or up close photos of my cats. As the years have gone by I've still had a huge interest in photography and shoot with my digital SLR, 35 and 120mm film SLRs, 'toy' cameras and whatever I can get my hands on. I mostly enjoy taking black and white landscape shots, but enjoy capturing anything that looks like it'd be a great photo.”

Lucy Wilkinson

Clinical Coder and Organist

Scarborough Hospital

“I've been playing the organ since I was 14. I'm currently the organist at St Saviour's church and I've been there for six years. Before that I played at St George's, York.  The organ is the most versatile of all instruments - that's why it's known as the King of the Instruments. Each organ has lots of "stops" each with a different sound and pitch - trumpet, flute, clarinet, vox celeste - and you combine them to make the sound you want. All the stops together sound like a full orchestra and make the floor shake - hence the phrase "pulling out all the stops".I've played for quite a few weddings, but it makes me nervous - I worry I'll mess up the bridal march! But it's a great feeling when it all goes right.”

Mandy Bardy

Cancer Pathway Coordinator and Seamstress

York Hospital

“I began sewing to save money on dance costumes for my youngest daughter who was in a dance troupe, costumes were very expensive. I enjoyed designing and making costumes from scratch often without a pattern, just an idea from my daughter.  Once other mums from the dance group realised I could sew I was soon making costumes for the whole group!
It soon became more than just a money saver and I found sewing both relaxing and enjoyable. I began to follow dress patterns and started making dresses for myself. Not only can you get a perfect fit and a unique dress it is also very rewarding. I even managed to make my eldest daughter’s prom dress, a dress I was proud to make and she was proud to wear.”

Marie Cottam

Occupational Therapist and Artist

Scarborough Hospital

“I grew up in an artistic family. My mum tried to teach me how to paint with oils, and we did a couple of pictures together, but I wanted to do something different…  A friend of mine suggested that I try air brush art and showed me a DVD. I had a go at airbrushing on a few different types of materials, from canvas to metal. After practicing I was let loose on a couple of cars!  I also enjoy glass painting, and have previously used this to achieve rehabilitation goals with stroke patients in my role as an occupational therapist.  I thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to lose myself in my artwork, and enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for art with people of all ages and abilities.”

Radovan Bolcar

Domestic Assistant and Artist

York Hospital

“My name is Radovan Bolcar and I am an artist working and living in York, interested in art but mostly painting.  I studied Contemporary Fine Art at York St John University. The course expanded my knowladge about art and helped me to view art in a non-traditional way (not only painting). Having said that I always like the challenge of painting.  The painting here is a commissioned piece for St. Wilfrid's Church in York.  I work in oils because I’ve always wanted to paint like the old masters, therefore I follow their techniques.  I’m still learning how to paint like the old masters and the best and most challenging way to do that is to reproduce their works, trying to recreate their techniques.” 

Sam Bell

Staff Nurse and Wire Animal Sculptor

York Hospital

“I started making wire animals a couple of months back.  This was my first 'The Hare'.  I found it was a good way to focus on something I enjoyed and have some 'me time', having two small children it can be hard doing something for yourself. Using only wire cutters and my hands it can be a very satisfying hobby!”

Sanjay Gupta

Consultant Cardiologist and Photographer

York Hospital

“I love photography because it has taught me how to see – how to admire late afternoon rays streaming through a forest canopy while my solitude and I share a contemplative walk.  How to watch snow-capped mountains vie for sun-lit reflections on their glaciers as they compete with each other to be the proudest of the Alps.  Or how to laugh when I see my French toast at the kitchen table bathed in morning light as it soaks up the maple syrup and reminds me of memories from my youth goofing around with my friends. I love photography because light can articulate a story sometimes better than words set a scene on a page, and I love finding ways to use that light to express my own interpretations of beauty.”

Sarah Sheldon

Corporate Development Secretary and Sock Toy Maker

York Hospital

“I discovered my talent for making sock toys having attended a workshop in 2012. I have always enjoyed making things and am known for my love of “sticking and gluing!” As soon as I made my first sock toy (a zebra called zebedee!) I was hooked!  Since 2012 I have made a variety of different sock toys including “ballarina bunny”, numerous different sock reindeers, “Travel Buddy” who has been on many holidays (and brought back the photos to prove it!), amongst many more - all made by hand!  I have recently used my talent to help a friend’s daughter by teaching her how to make sock toys for her Duke of Edinburgh Award.  I love that all I need is a pair or socks, a needle, thread, stuffing (!) and my imagination!”

Sharon Rhodes

Health Care Assistant and Cake Decorator

York Hospital

“I’ve always been quite creative since I was young. I was fascinated when my mum came home after a night school class when I was 14. I asked if I could have a go and she showed me and that was it. I made cakes for friends and family and then I was asked at 18 to make a wedding cake and I was hooked. I don’t like anything artificial on cakes so I make everything and practice making the sugar flowers all the time, I find that relaxing. It’s a great hobby but hard work, the reward of seeing someone when they pick their cake up is worth it. Ive even taught children as young as 7 to do bits so you can start this at any age.”

Dr Sholeh Hakiman

Speciality Doctor in Dermatology and Volunteer Teacher

York Hospital

"I am a volunteer teacher of virtue/spiritual classes for children. I also teach chanting, singing and meditational devotional themes. I believe that when the seed of love, generosity, honesty, truthfulness, unity, love, kindness and justice is cultivated in a child’s tender heart and mind, we not only will have happier and healthier children but also a more peaceful and tranquil world to live in. This golden purpose has been encouraging me to hold classes for children as a voluntary job in a deprived area of Hull on Sundays. These classes are free and open to all children coming from all walks of life. The children learn to love, respect and build friendships, developing self-confidence and community building skills for their futures."

Siân Norman

Senior Occupational Therapist and Cornet Player

Selby Community Therapy Team

“I started playing the cornet in the school band and currently play for York Railway Institute Band which is a Championship Section Brass Band.  Playing music in a group is amazingly enjoyable and thoroughly rewarding.  It also helps build confidence – you cannot hide if you are a brass player!  There is always a challenge particularly when on the contest stage and it gives a great sense of pride upholding a longstanding British tradition.  I have performed with the band at numerous concerts and contests, including the Whit Friday March contest and the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.  I sound the Last Post annually on Remembrance Sunday which is always a great honour as it means so much to so many.”

The Staff Choir

Employees from York Hospital and Singers

York Hospital

“The staff choir’s great for us all in different ways, some folk like it as a de-stresser during the work day, some folk enjoy the social aspect to it but the bit that we all have in common is that we enjoy singing as a group.  We meet once a week to rehearse in the chapel in York Hospital (from 12.30 – 1.30 every Thursday) and we’ll practice whichever songs we’re working on at the time. Once we’ve finished a couple of songs we’ll usually perform them on the corridor or in the main entrance.  We’re always looking for new members to come and join us, you don’t have to be able to read music, just come along and join in!”

Steve Hunt

Sonographer and Photographer

York Hospital

“Photography for me is a passion not just a hobby. It's not just about the final image. It starts with the planning. Where to go.  Check the weather. What time will I need to set off to be there before sunrise? The walk up hill to find the best vantage point. Waiting for the light. The solitude. The calm. Often the cold. Sometimes the disappointment when things don't go according to plan, but excitement when they do. Once back home, download and process the files.  Some photo's don't make the grade and end up in the recycle bin. The scenery changes with the seasons. I'll try again next week or next month. Maybe a different time of year. Maybe next time..... “

Tiago Castro

Clinical Coder and Skier

York Hospital

“I started skiing 5 years ago and in the beginning I was very sceptical about the idea of a skiing holiday.  As I am originally from Portugal I grew up living next to the beach and a holiday for me was soaking in the sun, definitely not cold and snow.  My wife insisted that we go on a skiing holiday and reluctantly I agreed, from that day forward my life has changed completely.  Now I’m always looking forward to heading to the mountain.  I am fascinated by nature and skiing is a wonderful outlet to explore this.  I believe everybody should try this great sport at least once. The day you put a pair of skis on, you will never want to take them off.  Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads.”




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