Published on: 31 January 2024

A competition is challenging people to use their creative side to come up with an artwork to represent the impact of conditions on the brain.

The Dementia and Delirium Outreach Team (DDOT) is part of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and is based at the Alexandra Centre at Sunderland Royal Hospital. It welcomes in patients from its wards to join in activities to help keep them active.

It also provides expert advice and support to patients with or at risk of cognitive difficulties. These can include dementia and delirium, with the team also helping their families and carers.

Delirium, or sudden confusion, can have many causes. These can include infection, side-effects of medicine like pain killers and steroids, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, liver or kidney problems, suddenly stopping drugs or alcohol, major surgery, brain injury or infection, terminal illness, constipation and being in an unfamiliar place.

Dementia is a syndrome which is associated with memory loss, as well as how someone speaks, thinks, feels and behaves. There are many difference causes and types.

On Friday, March 15, DDOT will be joining in World Delirium Awareness Day (WDAD). This aims get across how important early recognition, prevention and intervention is for those with delirium. It also hopes to raise awareness of the latest research and best way of helping people with the condition. 

The team is holding a series of activities for colleagues as well as those who work elsewhere in the NHS as part of the awareness drive.

To get the wider community involved, they are searching for nine pieces of art to put on display in the lead up to and during the day.

It is open to people from across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham and three sections are welcoming submissions.

The theme to inspire entries is ‘Remembering ‘Me’ through Art’ and it is open to those aged under 11, 11 to 16-year-olds and those 17 and older.

The prize for the youngest group is a pair of tickets to see Wizard of Oz at the Empire Theatre. Art supplies have been lined for the 11 to 16-year-old group and an afternoon tea for two at the Baltic is up for grabs as the winner of the oldest age group.

The artworks can be created using drawing, painting, pastels, ink and digital art and prizes are lined up for the winning entries.

The competition has been set up by Laarni Antonio, one of the DDOT Elder Life Specialist Practitioners (ELSP).

She said:

"We can’t wait to see what people come up with and we’re looking forward to putting the winning pieces on show in the Alexandra Centre for people to see in the lead up to the day and as part of our WDAD events in our Education Centre.

"We have put together some amazing prizes thanks to those who support the centre and the work we do with our patients.

"We might also use the artwork to create fundraising merchandise, such as a calendar, mug, shirt or a reusable bag. We’ll make sure the winner will get a copy of the item for keeps as a thank you.

"We also plan to give all those who enter a certificate to thank them for their entry and support.

"All of this will help us make this year’s World Delirium Awareness Day bigger than before and we can’t wait to see what people come up with."

The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 26, at 5pm. 

The exhibition will be showcased from Monday, March 11, to Thursday, March 14, at the Alexandra Centre and on WDAD at the Education Centre at Sunderland Royal Hospital for World Delirium Awareness Day. 

Winners will be announced on Monday, March 4, through the Trust’s website and social media sites. An official email from DDOT will be sent to the winners.

Entry is free and the team ask for one entry per person.
Drawings, paintings, canvases, pastels, ink or digital art should be A4 or up to 120cm by 100cm.

Artwork can be dropped off at the Alexandra Centre, which is on E Floor of the hospital.

Alternatively, entries can be scanned or photographed and sent to The team will ask for the original artwork to be submitted if chosen.

Please also include the signed Art Competition Application Form and Parental Consent Form for ages below 18 years. 

The winners will be asked to send in the original, hard copy of their submission.

Full terms and conditions and the forms can be found by clicking here.

Information about delirium can be found here

Details about dementia can be found via