A WARD at a Northumberland mental health hospital has been transformed by a local artist - with a themed mural that is ‘out of this world’.

Hexham-based artist Victoria Sand (33) drew her inspiration from Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, an advocate for mental health issues and after whom the hospital ward is named. The galaxy-themed mural includes a baby Yoda.

The Anick Road hospital is run by Cygnet Health Care and is a 27-bed mental health facility for women with complex mental health needs. The hospital is split into two wards, each offering specialist mental health services.

The work came about after occupational therapist Rebecca French appealed for local artists to help brighten the walls for both units, at the request of hospital staff and service users.

After completing the mural and now working on a second, Victoria said: “I’m really enjoying working with Cygnet Hospital Hexham.

“This was such a special piece for me personally as it is the first piece I’ve done after having recent surgery and doing it for a women’s mental health hospital just felt so right.” She added: “It’s a wall for the service users to leave a message when they finish treatment and it is extra symbolic for me as this piece represents my fresh start too.”

Hospital manager at Cyngnet Hospital Hexham, Anthony Saiger said: “We are delighted with the amazing wall that Victoria has created for us. It really lifts up our spirits and it is much more pleasant to look at than plain walls.”

Victoria’s next project is a music-themed wall on Franklin Ward – a specialist PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) service for women.