PRIMARY school pupils have created a piece of vibrant art work to hang on the wall of a hospital ward.

The children from Gurney Pease Academy created the art as part of a programme called ‘Breath and Breathing’, highlighting the importance of ‘loving your lungs’.

It is now hanging in the respiratory ward at Darlington Memorial Hospital as a present for nurses and patients.

As part of the programme, run in partnership with Breathe Easy, a support group for people with respiratory disease, the youngsters have been learning about the importance of fresh air and lung health.

Breathe Easy is run entirely by volunteers who themselves have respiratory disease and provides support and friendship for people with conditions including COPD, popcorn lung, asthma, aspergillosis and numerous other diseases.

In normal situations, the group provides the opportunity for them and their families or carers to meet several times a week for choir practice, adapted gym-based and dance-based exercise classes, as well as social meetings once a month where members have lunch and listen to guest speakers.

They also organise day trips.

Former chair Gaynor Williams said: “The artwork the children have produced again is wonderful and their enthusiasm is remarkable.

“It is so important to pass on messages about staying healthy and looking after your lungs. Working with Gurney Pease Academy will hopefully help to raise awareness, whether on a personal level associated with smoking or environmentally relating to pollution and air quality.”

The art was delivered to the hospital by head boy Zac Wilson and head girl Ruby West prior to the lockdown coming into force.

Gurney Pease Academy higher level teaching assistant Linda Cernik added: “Pupils worked incredibly hard and produced some amazing work. The project has helped reinforce the importance of looking after your health and we are thrilled pupils’ artwork will bring a bit of cheer to patients and visitors.”

Zac and Ruby, who handed over the art to staff on Ward 44, said they had enjoyed the chance to be creative.

Ruby said: “My painting wasn’t chosen for the hospital walls but it is being displayed at school and we all really enjoyed being a part of this project.”

For further information or for anyone wanting to join the group, contact the British Lung Foundation helpline on 03000 030 555 and ask for Breathe Easy Darlington, or look for it on Facebook.