South Africa

Snoopy and Woodstock bring hope and humour to Cape hospitals

Snoopy and Woodstock bring hope and humour to Cape hospitals

Little patients, medical staff and visitors walking into Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital’s paediatric ward will now be greeted by a familiar and fuzzy face — Snoopy from the renowned Peanuts comic characters.

The mural is a permanent gift to the hospital, thanks to a joint venture by Peanuts Worldwide, the hospital and the US-based Foundation for Hospital Art, which creates colourful, soothing artwork to help soften the stressful hospital experience.

The mural is one of 70 that are being created as part of a new “Take Care With Peanuts” initiative to mark Charles Schultz’s iconic comic characters.

The Cape Town private hospital and George Hospital are the only two SA hospitals that had been chosen for the programme after its launch on October 1.

On Friday paediatric patients and hospital staff members at that hospital came together to paint the six-panel mural, which features a brightly-coloured image of Snoopy and Woodstock enjoying a hearty laugh atop Snoopy’s doghouse.

“We are thrilled and moved to see Charles Schulz’s iconic characters share their irrepressible joy with patients at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial and other hospitals around the world,” said Roz Nowicki, executive vice-president of Peanuts Worldwide.

“At a time when we all need hope and humour, we believe he would be thrilled to know that his work is bringing this both to adults and children across the globe.”

Daniel Matthew, acting general manager at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital said the hospital is delighted to receive the gift of Snoopy, which “represents the best of all of us ... imagination, confidence, resilience, and of course, enormous good humour”.

“Thi is exactly what we’d like every person to feel as they walk through our doors. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

The initiative, whose themes come directly from Schulz’s strips, encourages everyone to “take care of yourself”, “take care of each other”, and “take care of the earth”. Among the other hospitals participating are Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital in Toronto, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades in Paris, and, Beijing Children’s Hospital in China.

Scott Feight, executive director of Foundation for Hospital Art, said: “Our non-profit initiative is dedicated to making hospital visits a friendlier, more hope-filled experience for patients through the power of art — and who can do that more effectively than Peanuts. Charles Schulz created indelible characters who bring joy to all who see them, which is why Peanuts is such a perfectly aligned partner for the Foundation for Hospital Art.”