A FAMILY'S grand gesture has helped paint a picture to ease the anxiety of children undergoing surgery in Fife.

The Chalmers' donation of £1,000 enabled Donna Forrester, from Kelty, to create an underwater-themed mural and provide a more calming atmosphere for youngsters before they go into theatre.

She has already done a number of artworks for the children's ward at the Victoria Hospital - as well as numerous stunning pieces in Townhill, Kelty and Comrie - and was the natural choice for the project.

Donna, who is also the chair of the Peacocks in Pittencrieff Park group, after completing an artwork in the Glen in 2022, said: "The artwork has been designed with children and their parents in mind.

Central Fife Times: Claire and Poppy Chalmers, centre, with artist Donna Forrester, Dr Laura Armstrong and her NHS Fife colleagues.Claire and Poppy Chalmers, centre, with artist Donna Forrester, Dr Laura Armstrong and her NHS Fife colleagues. (Image: NHS Fife)

"The hope is to create a relaxing atmosphere for children who may be feeling anxious about their procedure.

“The mural guides them on a fun journey to find fish and other sea creatures to help make their overall experience that little bit less scary.”

The thought of undergoing surgery is daunting for patients, regardless of their age, and the idea for the mural came from Dr Laura Armstrong, an anaesthetic consultant at NHS Fife.

READ MORE: Winter shutdown as Aldi store in Dunfermline is to close for three months

And it was all made possible thanks to funding from the Fife Health Charity and a generous donation of £1,000 from the Chalmers family, who regularly raise funds to help enhance the experience for children and young people in hospital.

Claire Chalmers said: "Having had a personal experience with our daughter Poppy receiving care in the children's ward, my family and I have witnessed first-hand the amazing work that staff do in caring for young patients.

"We’re really proud of Poppy for her fundraising efforts and we’re delighted to see the funds raised being put to such good use.”

Together with her team, Dr Armstrong had wanted to help create more gentle surroundings in the children's ambulatory care unit.

She added: “The mural has been designed to make the journey that little bit easier by providing distraction therapy right from when the child enters the theatre suite.

"Young patients are encouraged to ‘follow the fishes’ which we find helps reduce the stress and anxiety felt by young people by creating a child-friendly environment.”