Mental health wards at a Kent hospital have been brightened thanks to artwork created by local college students.

Thirty Canterbury College students have been working closely with patients and staff at St Martin’s hospital to create graphics and photos that evoke serene outdoor spaces for its new £10m wards.

The graphic design and photography students were given a £25,000 budget for the project.

The hospital’s director of acute services, David Tamsitt, said: “The partnership between St Martin’s and the college has been great and has allowed us to promote mental health awareness amongst the young people too.”

The wards’ lead occupational therapist, John Puddle, explained how the students’ images would increase patients’ chances of recovery: “In mental health there is evidence that calming and naturalistic art reduces the level of stress and aggression in the wards. It’s been a great collaboration.

“The hospital has really got a lot from it and I hope the students have too.”