We first met Gail Bolland back in 1992. At the time Gail was the arts coordinator for Leeds General Infirmary. It was approaching the hospitals 125th anniversary and Gail was tasked with mounting a temporary historical exhibition. To cut a long story short, we ended up creating a permanent display consisting of six photographic murals, each covering a different subject. Seventeen years later and the displays are still there and are used as part of the induction of some of the medical staff.

For over a decade we worked together with Gail on many projects. Gail’s success culminated in the forming of ‘Tonic – the arts pick-me-up” . Delivered by a team of three permanent staff, Gail was assisted by Claire Pope, (pictured with Gail – see note below) and Josie Aston.

Between 1992 and 2004 we designed and created all the promotional literature, leaflets, brochures folders etc for Tonic, along with other poster campaigns for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Along the way, promoting the 6 different heritage projects and many other visual and performing arts programmes that Tonic ran under Gail’s watchful eye. I’m sure that we speak for many other artists supported by Tonic, in wishing Gail a very happy and contented retirement in the knowledge that she expertly fundraised and delivered high quality artwork and performing arts programmes, totalling several million pounds, that are highly appreciated across the hospitals of Leeds.

You can see all the projects we worked on with Gail by clicking on the ‘locations’ tab at the top of our website and then following the links to each project.

Claire Pope went on to form the highly successful You can read about them on the new Culture and Wellbeing website

Josie Aston is the Wellcome Trust Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme and a freelance arts coordinator. We created heritage displays with Josie in Beckenham (2007) and Orpington (2009).

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