Riding in an ambulance as a child can be an extremely uncomfortable and daunting experience, but maybe something as simple as a friendly illustration can help brighten the mood.

Sheffield’s Children’s hospital’s charity arts programme, Artfelt, has been making strides to increase the comfort and wellbeing of its young patients for some time, such as a lively makeover of its white walls into a giant cartoon hide-and-seek and more recently a vivid new wing with the work of Morag Myerscrough.

Artfelt’s most recent project, created by Tado, brightened the hospital’s ambulances which transport sick children to and from home to Sheffield hospital, and various treatment locations.

Children’s ambulances traveling around South Yorkshire now have bright new designs on the interior by artists Mike and Katie from Tado.

Located in Sheffield, Tado is a design agency made up of Mike and Katie who specialise in a unique variety of illustrations, animations and toy designs.

"One of the challenges we faced was to find the right balance of artwork for the space, so we used a limited colour palette, simple bold shapes and restricted the majority of the artwork to the end doors which became the main focal point," says Katie.

"The artwork itself had to be pretty calm in nature and not too overwhelming, appeal to a broad age range and include some elements on the ceiling to provide interest on long journeys. We also had to be mindful not to induce motion sickness."

Considering research that outlines the relationships between patient environment, emotional distress and recovery, artists and medical professionals are teaming up to alter the treatment environment of sick children in the hopes of reducing emotional distress and contributing to a better recovery experience.

As one of only four of UK children’s hospitals, Sheffield’s founded The Children’s Hospital Charity arts programme called Artfelt in 2012 to brighten hospital walls, create smiles and engage children in create workshops.

As one of only four of UK children’s hospitals, Sheffield’s founded The Children’s Hospital Charity arts programme called Artfelt in 2012 to brighten hospital walls, create smiles and engage children in create workshops.

Tado, who have created work for MTV, Sky TV, Nike, Google and Nickelodeon, have transformed four Sheffield ambulances from the Embrace Transport Team from an ordinary design into a colourful, friendly means of transportation for sick children.

The pair had designed a different theme for each ambulance, including designs of a space rabbit and a skateboarding bear.

Due to the severity of the ill children carried by Embrace’s transport service, Tado had to be extremely careful in creating illustrations that didn’t interfere with the medical treatment devices.

Having been on the road for a couple of weeks already, the ambulances have already began brightening the journeys of children.

"Families are delighted with the transformation of the ambulances and how the clinical space has become so family friendly," says Dr Cath Harrison, neonatal lead and transport consultant for Embrace.

"The children being moved seem more relaxed and comfortable during their transfers with the newly designed vehicles."