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A Space Between

1677. Emily Halban
1678. Fardokht Sharifi-Yazdi
1679. Tianna Moquette Dagher

Emily Halban, Fardokht Sharifi-Yazdi and Tianna Moquette Dagher, from London and Cambridge, are founders of not-for-profit ‘A Space Between’, an initiative supporting health workers and patients through free, therapeutic art programmes.

Emily Halban, Fardokht Sharifi-Yazdi and Tianna Moquette Dagher

Established in 2019, Emily, Tianna and Farodkht came together with a common vision of using the practice of art to enhance health and wellbeing. Since then, the organisation has delivered thousands of care boxes and art resources to waiting rooms, bed-bound patients, chemo wards, staff sanctuaries and hospitals, including during the pandemic. Beyond lockdown, they will also reintroduce hosting communal art tables in hospitals, allowing patients, staff and visitors to join together in a dedicated, calm space where they can channel their creative energies.

In a personal letter to Emily, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Every day I thank someone for their service to others and today I would like to celebrate the work of ‘A Space Between’ by naming you, Fardokht and Tianna as Points of Light.

“I was inspired to learn of how you use creative arts to promote wellbeing in hospitals, schools and workplaces. This has been more important than ever over the last year as those in hospital have endured the necessary restrictions on visitors. Your art resources will have been a source of comfort and enjoyment for many.”

In a personal letter to Fardokht, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Allow me to express my admiration for your service to others, especially over the last eighteen months. Alongside Emily and Tianna, you have created a wonderful community which brings the therapeutic benefits of art to hospital patients, school children and NHS workers.

“As we move forward, I know you will be bringing back the magic of communal art tables allowing people to share in the spirit of creativity.”

In a personal letter to Tianna, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I am lost in admiration for the courage and tenacity you have shown creating ‘A Space Between’ while going through your own health battles.

“You will know from your own experience the unique challenges of being in hospital over the last year. So your therapeutic art packs and special edition colouring books are a brilliant way of helping patients focus on their wellbeing.”

Reacting to their award, Emily, Tianna and Fardokht said:

“We are truly honoured and deeply humbled to receive the Points of Light Award. This came completely out of the blue and left us feeling very emotional! Through our own battles with cancer, chronic disease and mental illness, we came together as three close friends with a passion to elevate creativity as a pillar of health. 

“We launched ‘A Space Between’ from a place of lived experience, setting out to build programmes that would inspire a simple creative pause within hospital settings and the community at large. To break down generational barriers, patient-carer boundaries and social confines through a collective art space open to all.

“We have poured our hearts into this organisation – running, designing, developing and delivering everything together just us three founders. But we couldn’t have done it without the trust put into us by so many. This is an opportunity to thank every hospital, charity, community centre, school and organisation who believed in our work and let us in. To say thank you for every act of kindness and generous support extended to us by printers, couriers, lawyers, more still than we can think to name – and friends and family. 

“This award means more than words can possibly say. We are profoundly grateful and committed to keep growing ‘A Space Between’ to reach as many people as we possibly can.”

Pictured below: the work of ‘A Space Between’ in action

A Space Between art programme

An NHS worker colouring in a drawing made by 'A Space Between'

See more about ‘A Space Between’

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