Midwives create artwork from newborns' footprints

Staff in Hull are turning babies' footprints into works of art.
Sallie Ward

Midwives in Hull have embarked on a project to collect footprints from newborn babies and turn them into works of art.

Sallie Ward holds a bag of footprints in front of the finished artwork

Hull is UK City of Culture 2017, and community midwifery sister for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust Sallie Ward wanted to do something to celebrate.

Ms Ward came up with the Born into a City of Culture project, creating trees each month out of footprint impressions from babies born in the Women and Children's Hospital at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Handprints from midwives are then added to each month's footprints to form trunks.

How each tree looks depends on the number of births, and all newborns at the hospital are included in the project, with impressions even taken from those who only survive a short time.

‘Our midwives have been busy collecting footprints over recent weeks, and we’re all delighted with how the first piece looks now that it’s in place,’ said Ms Ward.

‘About 6,000 children born in 2017 will become part of something special straight away. And for their parents, it will be something for them to talk with their children about for many years to come.’

The first tree, made in January, comprises 381 footprints and was unveiled and displayed in the main entrance to the hospital at the start of March.

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