CHILDREN will have a trip under the sea to ease their anxiety while waiting in a hospital's waiting area.

Artist Emma Kendall created the original artwork free of charge before volunteers helped out with the painting in Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Vikki Bailey, matron for the emergency department/urgent treatment centre, said: “Emma’s mural is a wonderful ‘finishing touch’ for our young patients. We watched in fascination as she worked and absolutely love the mural which is already proving a hit with our patients."

The mural took three days to complete but would have taken longer without the help of volunteers, including Rob Stephenson from AAA Caring Caretaker, who helped Emma paint the base colours so she could concentrate on the detail.

Turtles enjoying a swim in the sea

The artist said: “I deliberately used primary colours which are more appealing to children and blue is a calming colour, which prompted the ‘Under the Sea’ theme. I’ve included lots of animals and fish so that, hopefully, children who are feeling unwell or a bit anxious, can be distracted by looking at and identifying the seahorses, dolphins, turtles and other elements.

“When I was a child, our GP practice had a lovely mural on one of the waiting room walls and I have very clear memories of how much better it made me feel. I really hope that my work can help give a little bit of pleasure to the children using this waiting area now and for years to come."