We provide support to help you regain your well being. Our mission statement is to promote "Wellness through Art."

Arts for Health Community Trust is a charitable trust serving the community that is totally reliant on grants, donations and fundraising to operate. We provide art and craft sessions to people who are disadvantaged due to illness, injury or disability.

The philosophy of the programme is that everyone has the right to be creative, no matter what their circumstances. The arts can provide inspiration, motivation and opportunity for self-expression, from which emerges a sense of self, independence and dignity.

Our clients can choose their projects and work at their own pace. Our staff help and encourage them to discover the joys of being creative in a caring and supportive environment.

Clients are given the opportunity to meet others and share in the creative experience. There is no required level of expertise to participate in our activities. Many Arts for Health clients have no previous art experience. Our community base is located at the Ward Park Arts and Crafts Centre in Hamilton. We are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am until 2.30pm.

Our Charities Commission Registration Number is CC34484.


In 1986, as a result of funding issues, the occupational therapists stopped providing art and crafts activities to patients at the Waikato Hospital. Valerie Wright-St Clair (Head Occupational Therapist at Waikato Hospital) negotiated with the Waikato Hospital Health Board to make art and crafts available to the patients. Libby Clements (Hamilton City Council Recreational Officer) was the brainchild of this scheme via Penny Eames (Arts Access Aotearoa) after a meeting with Peter Senior from Arts for Health, Manchester, England.

On 13th February 1987 a group was formed with Heather Lomas and Margaret Loughnan on the committee. Rosemarie Biland joined the group as Volunteer Co-Ordinator in March 1987. Rosemarie also worked with several groups in the Hamilton and Waikato area delivering music, singing and musical instrument making.

On 4th September 1991 the group was officially registered as "Arts for Health (Waikato Hospital) Trust".

In November 1996 the Tactile Therapy group (Massage Group) joined Arts for Health as an umbrella group. The group had an active presence in Wards 2 and 12 (General Surgery), Ward 25 (Palliative Care), Haemotology and in the Mothercraft unit - and other areas by individual request.

In 1998 the Trust began sessions in the Henry Bennett Centre, which took over after Tokanui Hospital was closed down. Arts for Health still continues to provide this service to the Henry Bennett Centre today, along with sessions in the Older Persons' Rehabilitation Wards and the Lions' Cancer Lodge.

That same year the Trust was offered a venue to lease in the community by the Hamilton City Council at Ward Park Arts & Crafts Centre, in recognition of our work. We have been successful in retaining the lease of this venue still today.

In 2007 the name was changed to "Arts for Health Community Trust".

30th ANNIVERSARY - 2017

On Sunday 9th April 2017 we celebrated our 30th birthday with a get-together at Hamilton Gardens.
It was great to hear speakers talk about the past 30 years, and a silent auction of clients' artwork was held. A very enjoyable afternoon. We look forward to celebrating our 40th birthday in 2027!
Thank you all who attended.


Our 2017 Art Competition / Exhibition was held in July this year. We had a total number of 69 entries this year in two sections (Adults and Students).

Congratulations to our winners:

ADULTS FIRST PRIZE:               Fritz Jooste

STUDENTS FIRST PRIZE:          Meg Tucker

MERIT PRIZES:                         Riki McInman,  Sharon Gleeson,  Oliver Stewart,  Diana Seavill

PEOPLES' CHOICE AWARD:      (2 winners):  Julie Whyman,  Deshan Walallavita

RAFFLE WINNERS:                   Peter and Bryan