News

Temple of Treasures: Teenagers in Temple Street transform the hospital into a game environment

Posted on: June 16, 2017

An urgent communication has been received from an intergalactic voyager. You must join a team of players to decipher the clues and travel between parallel dimensions in Temple Street Children’s…

Teenagers in hospital explore their creativity on Year 2 of the Fireflies Project

Posted on: August 25, 2017

Teenagers in hospital transitioning to adult care have been exploring their creativity and building magical worlds on Year Two of Helium Arts’ Fireflies Project which concluded this July. The project…

Performer Roseanne Lynch joins Helium’s Pop Up Picnic team

Posted on: May 1, 2018

Helium Arts is delighted to announce that actor and playwright Roseanne Lynch is joining the Pop Up Picnic creative team. Pop Up Picnic is a Helium Arts production for young children…

Engaging the Senses: Symposium and workshop exploring multi-sensory, interactive arts for young children with complex needs

Posted on: April 13, 2018

Helium Arts in partnership with Kildare County Council Arts Service is hosting ‘Engaging the Senses’, a symposium and practical workshop for arts, healthcare and early years professionals interested in exploring…

Events & Marketing Internship with Helium Arts

Posted on: April 4, 2018

EVENTS & MARKETING INTERNSHIP Helium Arts is Ireland’s children’s arts and health charity. We support children facing a life of illness to let their creativity shine! Through the kindness of…

Helium Arts seeks Performer for Inclusive Early Years Theatre Project

Posted on: March 27, 2018

Helium Arts is seeking a multidisciplinary performer to join our Pop Up Picnic team to deliver an immersive and multi-sensory performance project for young children with complex needs. Rehearsals commence…

Tech Rehab, Ghost Visitors and Thieving: Stories from our film workshop with Diabetes Ireland

Posted on: March 13, 2018

A group of young people plan their escape from tech rehab, a bully steals an insulin pen, a piano player sees something he shouldn’t at a party … Fourteen teenagers…

Save the Date! Symposium exploring multi-sensory, interactive arts for young children with complex needs

Posted on: February 28, 2018

Helium Arts in partnership with Kildare County Council Arts Service is hosting a symposium and practical workshop for arts, healthcare and early years professionals interested in exploring multi-sensory, creative play…

Recruitment of new board member in area of health

Posted on: January 17, 2018

Helium Arts is looking for a new Board Member with significant Medical experience to provide direction and guidance on developing the organisation’s strategy in response to best practice models of…

Art Workshops for teenagers with epilepsy in partnership with Epilepsy Ireland

Posted on: February 8, 2018

Helium Arts, in partnership with Epilepsy Ireland, are hosting free art workshops for young people with epilepsy (aged 12-16) on Saturday 24 February and Saturday 10 March in Dublin. Over…

Lauren’s Story

Posted on: November 21, 2017

Did you know that 16% of children in Ireland have been diagnosed with a life-long illness? These children, as well as dealing with serious medical conditions, experience more bullying, have fewer close…

A little piece of magic in the home: Helium Arts’ Pop Up Picnic tours to families in Kildare and Tipperary

Posted on: December 5, 2017

This year, families in Kildare and Tipperary enjoyed what one mum called ‘a little piece of magic’ when Helium Arts’ Pop Up Picnic visited their homes. The Pop Up Picnic…

Helium Arts’ Creation Station at the Dublin Flea Christmas Market

Posted on: November 28, 2017

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping with Helium Arts at the Dublin Flea Christmas Market from 7-10 December. Get hands on and create your own Forest…

Your gift of creativity…

Posted on: November 15, 2017

Thank you very much! Through your kindness we will be able to connect more children and young people like Lauren with artists like Rachel to inspire them for life.  Lauren, participant…

Helium Arts Christmas

Posted on: November 15, 2017

WE BELIEVE CREATIVITY CHANGES LIVES… DO YOU? Support seriously ill children to let their creativity shine! Your contribution to our Christmas campaign 2017 will connect sick kids with artists to…

Seizure the Day: Inspiring short film by young people with epilepsy launches at the Irish Film Institute

Posted on: November 14, 2017

On Saturday 14 October, Seizure the Day, a short fictional film created by young people with epilepsy and inspired by their experiences, had its premiere at the Irish Film Institute…

Helium Arts’ Teddy Bear Clinic comes to school children in Athlone

Posted on: November 8, 2017

School children and preschoolers in Athlone will be invited to have their teddies’ vital signs checked when the Helium Arts’ Teddy Bear Clinic comes to Athlone Institute of Technology on…

Helium Arts Superhero Bazaar in Mullingar on Culture Night

Posted on: September 19, 2017

Reveal your secret Superhero on Culture Night! Come to the Superhero Bazaar at Days Bazaar in Mullingar on 22 September and discover your superpower. Families are invited to join us from…

Teen superheroes take flight! A year of adventure with CanTeen Ireland

Posted on: September 3, 2017

It’s been an amazing year of creative exploration and experimentation with CanTeen Ireland, the young people’s cancer support group, and artist mentors on our Two Suitcases community project. In April,…

Why heroism matters by Ben Murnane

Posted on: September 3, 2017

In the history of humankind, there are probably few ideas more dangerous than the notion that we can offload our problems onto some external force, who will solve them for…

In the history of humankind, there are probably few ideas more dangerous than the notion that we can offload our problems onto some external force, who will solve them for us.

And yet we need heroes.

The latest instalment in the Two Suitcases Project – Planet of the Capes – struck such a chord with me, because it involved young people who’ve had cancer (members of CanTeen) creating and becoming their own superheroes.

I grew up with a rare and debilitating disease, Fanconi anaemia, and one of the main sources of succour and inspiration when coping with my illness, was the fantasy of being a superhero. When the body is sick and incapable, it seems only natural that a fantasy of having an all-powerful body, to accomplish whatever one wanted, would be writ large – correcting the injustices of fate.

Heroism is about the experience of illness and associated with it so much. We refer to cancer survivors as heroes, when all they have done is survive. Why? Because their survival in the face of adversity inspires us, gives us hope that we can survive our own challenges, whatever they may be.

This is also where the true power of the superhero lies: in inspiration. The superhero does save lives, because imagining yourself as a superhero helps you to survive; that’s been my experience.

A hero is most powerful when they inspire us to be better ourselves – not when we expect them to save us.

Ben Murnane has been a script mentor on Helium Arts’ Two Suitcases community film project since 2012. An adaptation of Ben’s memoir Two in a Million, about life with Fanconi anaemia, became the award-winning pilot film on the project. Two Suitcases was written and directed by Ben with project manager Emma Eager and created in collaboration with young people living with illness. Ben is currently a writing a follow up to his memoir 

benmurnane.com

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