Last month we were collaborating with 100% Digital Leeds on a webinar and hybrid event exploring how technology can help us reach new audiences and work together better - from learning about what's on to developing new ways to get involved. If you missed it you can read more below and find the webinar recording and resources.
This month we are making new connections between arts and mental health - learning from linking NHS arts leads to the latest Baring Foundation survey, sharing opportunities to improve mental health services with Leeds Rehab and Recovery Inpatient Services and Forum Central.
We are also planning our next Culture of Mental Health Forum Meeting where members are encouraged to share their work in arts, mental health and social isolation and we're getting ready to celebrate a year of the Thriving Communities social prescribing partnership pilot led by arts organisation Space 2. Lots to look forward to!

100% Digital Leeds and LAHWN

Online Arts and Culture for Health and Wellbeing Webinar

You can now watch a recording of our latest webinar sharing some of the ways that we have found arts and culture can make a difference online featuring Shared Harmonies, Ascendance and The Swan Song Project. You can also take inspiration from good practice across our region and the UK in our accompanying resource spanning performing arts, visual arts, digital arts, literature and culture.
Watch the webinar here
Explore the accompanying resource here

What's been happening in arts and health in Leeds and beyond?

University College London (UCL): Launch of WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts & Health

The new WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts & Health aims to:
  • Research into how arts, culture and heritage affect mental and physical health
  • Develop and improve arts and health policy globally
  • Provide training programmes, toolkits, and resources to support development in the field, including opportunities for early career researchers
Join the WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts & Health mailing list

What's happening in LAHWN's focus areas?

Baring Foundation: Supporting arts and creativity in NHS mental health trusts/settings

The Baring Foundation are keen to reach arts leads in NHS mental health services across England with a basic survey to find out about who’s doing what and where. LAHWN members are asked to forward the survey to anyone you think might be relevant among our Yorkshire networks. 

Find details of the survey here

Leeds Rehab and Recovery Inpatient Services and Forum Central: Workshop on opportunities to improve services for people with complex psychosis

The purpose of this workshop is to scope out potential opportunities (including the potential for new service level agreements) with third sector organisations and colleagues, to better serve people with a diagnosis associated with complex psychosis who have rehab, engagement, or substance misuse needs, and interested LAHWN members are encouraged to attend.

The aim for the session is to identify specific therapeutic support that could improve the quality of life of this cohort, both in a community setting or in a community inpatient/supported living setting. It's important to also keep in mind people who can’t currently access longer term support, and would benefit from it.

The workshop will cover two specific areas where they are looking for third sector consultation and involvement:

  • The Rehab & Recovery Pathway and Assertive Outreach work is currently being reviewed, and the service is looking to explore innovative ways to support the recovery of people using these services, ensuring a holistic approach to meeting need.
  • A service specification is being developed for a West Yorkshire ICS New Complex Care Unit for people in out of area placements with complex needs. They're looking to discover different options for shift work with that client group, including the third sector.

The sessions will be recorded so you can still contribute even if you can't attend, and a feedback form will be sent after the session so you can add any further thoughts after the meeting. The outcomes of this work will go on to inform and enhance the service redesign for the internal rehab and assertive outreach services, and will also contribute to the Community Mental Health Transformation model development.

To join the workshop on Thursday 17th February from 1 to 3PM or if you have any questions please email

LAHWN and Forum Central: the next Culture of Mental Health Forum Meeting

At our last meeting in November there was a particularly strong interest in Mental Health, the Arts and Social Inclusion as the focus for our second meeting. When supporting positive mental health, a socially inclusive approach includes recovery-oriented practice, an emphasis on social outcomes and participation, and attention to the rights of people with mental ill health, through an intersectional lens. 

This session will spotlight case studies and provide space to discuss opportunities for arts and health colleagues to promote social inclusion in partnership, responding to the needs of our city together. The more colleagues we have across both arts and health, the stronger the opportunities for partnership working - please get in touch with LAHWN's project officer, Geraldine Montgomerie, if you would like to provide a brief presentation at the meeting.

Book your place at our meeting Friday 11th March at 11.15am

Arts for Brain Health and The University of Oxford: Webinar Series 2022

Every month on Tuesday mornings experts in culture, health and wellbeing, dementia prevention, creative ageing, and social prescribing, debate the vital role of arts and wellbeing activity in protecting against cognitive decline – from the onset of potential dementia symptoms – with actions for social change. The next webinar on Drama for Brain Health webinar takes place on Tuesday 8th February from 10 to 11AM.
Find out more about upcoming sessions as well as past recordings and transcripts here

National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) and the South Bank Centre - Every Corner Network

Following an offer of monthly Zoom sessions to support activity coordinators and managers in the pandemic these meetings are continuing on the second Tuesday of each month. They aim to connect professionals and volunteers working in care settings across the UK interested in embedding creativity into every corner of the homes they work in. The sessions are free and require no previous art experience – all they ask is that you come with an openness to share your experiences and try new activities. 

If you'd like to join email to be added to the mailing list.

Nicola Naismith: Practising Well - Conversations & Support for participatory arts and artists

Following working with LAHWN as part of the Beyond Measure programme in 2019, Nicola Naismith has been engaged in research exploring wellbeing at work themes including reflective practice in people-orientated professions. As a result she has identified eight recommendations for working with artists in relation to Supporting, Promoting, Collaborating, Planning, Learning, Guiding, Evaluating and Developing.

Find a brief slide show on this research and details of the recommendations
Read about Nicola's wider work on Practicing Well
You can find resources to support work in arts and health on our updated LAHWN website including local and national networks, communities, organisations, training and development.  

Funding available for arts and health projects:

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership: 
‘Supporting Men in Healthcare’ Pilot

This is an opportunity for a sole voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisation or group of organisations, to tender for a £100,000 contract from the West Yorkshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, which is part of the WY HCP. The investment will be used to pilot new creative ways of working and engaging men, who may not access traditional workplace support.

The aim is to bring the great men’s engagement and mental health initiatives that exist in our communities, to the men employed in the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership who have been most impacted by the pandemic

The application deadline is 18th February. 

Learn more about the Supporting Men in Healthcare Pilot here

Ashoka and The Johnson & Johnson Foundation: Reimagining Community Health Challenge

This is reported to be the first Europe-wide challenge to find and support Community Health innovators, supporting health systems that value wellbeing and prevention as much as treatment. Apply if you are interested in winning EUR 50,000 and you:

  • Make novel health interventions;  

  • Improve health equity; and/or  

  • Strengthen community governance and agency

Closing date Monday 28th February   

Learn more about the Reimagining Healthcare Challenge

Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust: Ann Rylands Small Donations Grant Programme

The Ann Rylands Small Donations programme makes grants to support small charities who have existed for at least two years with an income of £50,000 to 2,000,000. Grants can support core costs up to a maximum award of up to £5,000. They accept applications from charities which offer practical and emotional support to improve health and care for:

  • Older people
  • People with disabilities or living with serious illness
  • People needing palliative and end of life care, or
  • People facing challenges with mental health, social exclusion or homelessness
Read more about Ann Rylands Small Donations Grants Programme

Arts Council Project Grants: Supporting Grassroots Live Music

Funding of £1,000 to £40,000 is available to those whose main function is to host and/or promote live music events in venues. Usually, this will be venues and promoters (or groups of venues and/or promoters). They are particularly interested in supporting those venues and promoters who work in the grassroots part of this sector (ie those working with new, developing talent in small to mid-size venues).
Deadline for applications 31st March

Learn more and apply here

Hey Neighbour Fund: Round Two Now Open

Hey Neighbour are giving grants of between £100 and £2,500 to people in Leeds to do something that brings together a neighbourhood or community to improve their wellbeing. Individuals can apply for up to £500 and organisations can apply for up to £2,500. The form is designed to be easy to fill in! The total fund available to share out is £20,000.
For more info, visit or, if you have any questions, want to talk through your idea, or need help with the form, simply call, text or WhatsApp Damian on 0798 544 2630 or email

The deadline is rolling but the fund will be withdrawn as soon as all money has been allocated.
For further information on upcoming contracts and social finance, as well as funding focused around the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Voluntary Action Leeds Funding Update here and Funding Leeds here.

Opportunities for members and their networks in arts and health:

Arts Health Research: Intensive Training programme 9th to 13th May 2022

This course due to take place in Snape Maltings, Suffolk, is suitable for anyone with a background or interest in the arts, healthcare, community health or social care, and research, and who wishes to learn more about the field and meet others who share their interests. No research experience necessary and all levels of experience are welcome.

The Arts Health Research Intensive provides a rich introduction to the evidence base around arts in health and fundamentals of evaluation and research:

  • Explore the development and scope of the field
  • Learn about psychological, physiological, social and behavioural effects
  • Discover research and evaluation methodologies
  • Discuss practicalities and issues in carrying out research
  • Engage in group-based debates, activities and presentations 

Costs, which do not include travel and accommodation, vary from £629 to £999. A small number of scholarships judged jointly on need and merit are also available. To apply for a scholarship, simply detail this in your Research Intensive application form.

Application deadline 28th February

To find out more or to apply, visit the ECRN Website

Pyramid of Arts: Call out for trustees

Pyramid invests in people with a learning disability through the discovery, development and disruption of the arts. We're recruiting new Trustees at the moment, and we're looking for people from a diverse range of backgrounds to broaden the skill-set, knowledge and experience of our Board.  
Learn more on the Pyramid of Arts website

Forum Central and Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL): Free support for individual and small groups 

VAL are offering support for individuals as well as small and emerging groups in Leeds with an income under £50,000 who provide volunteer-led activities/ projects for their neighbours in Leeds. You may have been eligible for or accessed Hey Neighbour funding or are interested in applying for Hey Neighbour funding in the future. Areas of support include two hours of dedicated one to one support as well as workshops until March on:
  • Setting up a community organisation
  • Find a funder 
  • Safeguarding
To book a place on the workshops or a one-to-one please contact at Forum Central or at VAL.

Leeds City Council: Creative opportunities as part of Cross Green's new Environmental Services facility

The new depot is a project deeply rooted in sustainability, meeting the highest sustainability standards of any council facility (integrating solar panels, harvesting rainwater, a living wall, EV charging, and using reused furniture throughout). Within the facility, there is an opportunity to provide vibrant and inspiring surroundings for visitors and staff. Given the core themes of environmental sustainability, particular interest is given to the use of reclaimed, recycled, and reused materials. Artists who live in, or who can demonstrate a strong connection to Leeds, are eligible to apply for this opportunity.  Commission A: creating a series of co-ordinated art works to be displayed throughout the building, including a striking mural/internal vinyl for a large wall space in the café area. Commission B: creating signature, high impact 3 dimensional piece/sculpture to be situated outside the new building. The artist should consider how they may engage and consult with Environmental Services staff on the proposed work. Deadline for proposals Monday 21st February 12PM

Learn more and apply for Commission A or B here

Culture & Mental Health International Conference: Call Out for Proposals

For this year's conference, which will take place in Ghent, Belgium 24 – 25 November 2022, the team are looking for proposals from people working on creative, art-based, innovative or out-of-the-box projects. They are looking for contributions on research or operational capacity connected to one of three strands: 
  • Lived Experience;
  • Social Justice;
  • Place.
You can contribute through a formal presentation or a workshop. Please email with any questions.

Deadline for proposals Tuesday 1st March
Learn more about the conference here

New resources for members in developing their knowledge and practice:

Arts Council England: Report on the Role of Arts During the Covid-19 Pandemic

This report, published by University College London (UCL) and funded by the Arts Council, summarises the complex role of the arts during the Covid-19 pandemic. UCL researchers found that: 

  • 1 in 5 people increased their arts engagement in the early months of the pandemic. Arts engagement played a key role in supporting mental health in the UK and internationally. 
  • Time spent on creative hobbies was associated with increases in life satisfaction and decreases in symptoms of depression and anxiety. 
  • Certain groups experiencing greater challenges particularly drew on the arts, including health and social care professionals, younger adults, older adults and parents.
  • Initially, people who don’t typically take part in the arts increased their engagement.
  • Arts engagement helped people use certain psychological strategies for coping and emotion regulation, including distraction techniques, social connection with others, learning new skills and engaging the mind.
Read "The Role of the Arts during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Here
To explore over 700 resources on arts and health visit the Arts and Health Repository, created on behalf of Special Interest Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing within the Royal Society for Public Health, here.

What's coming up in arts and health in the next few weeks:

Tuesday 8th February 10 to 11AM Arts4Dementia: Drama for Brain Health Webinar Learn about how acting in a way different from usual requires the brain to respond to a novel set of stimuli, causing new neutrons to develop and adapt, giving drama protective qualities against cognitive decline. Find full information here.

Thursday 10th February 1 to 2.30PM CHWA: Practising Well Conversation One Nicola Naismith with Alex Evans, who leads a multidisciplinary team of artists to support children and young people facing adverse childhood experiences within hospitals, schools and refugee settings at Kazzum Arts book here

Thursday 10th February 1.15 to 2.15PM Philip Barker Centre For Creative Learning: Professionalising the system - Valuing, supporting and acknowledging participatory artists Webinar Join this interactive webinar with UK and international perspectives to explore what radical shifts in artists’ training for the 21st Century. Free to attend - book here.

Wednesday 16th February 6.30 to 8PM The Grief Series: Journey with Absent Friends Launch **at The Tetley** The launch of their latest installation: a mobile museum of grief housed inside a vintage caravan. Contact producer Rosie Clark at to confirm your interest.

Thursday 17th February 1 to 3PM Forum Central: Rehab and Recovery Workshop Exploring innovative ways to support recovery for people living with complex psychosis. Contact for more information.

Thursday 17th February 1.15 to 2.15PM Philip Barker Centre For Creative Learning: Rejection as a part of artistic process, development and growth webinar Join this interactive webinar with UK and international perspectives to explore what radical shifts in artists’ training for the 21st Century. Free to attend - book here.

Tuesday 22nd February 3 to 4.15PM Thriving Communities webinar: Libraries and Social Prescribing Innovation A showcase some of the innovations in literary and library social prescribing practice that have been happening in 2021/22. Book your place here.

Thursday 24th February 1 to 2.30PM CHWA: Practising Well Conversation Two Nicola Naismith with Roshmi Lovatt (Integrative Art Therapist & Creative Well Programme), Tracy Breathnach (How Ya Doing?  Programme Manager, Wales Arts, Health & Wellbeing Network) and Alistair Gentry (Artist and activist) book here

Wednesday 2nd March 1.15 to 2.15PM Philip Barker Centre For Creative Learning: What is the role of Higher Education in music for health initiatives Webinar Join this series of interactive webinars with UK and international perspectives to explore what radical shifts in artists’ training for the 21st Century. Free to attend - book here.

What's coming up in the next few months:

**Social Prescribing Week 2022 (4th to 11th March)**

**Social Prescribing Day (10th March)**

Thursday 10th March 1 to 2.30PM CHWA: Practising Well Conversation Three Nicola Naismith with Daniel Regan (Artist and Arts + Health Hub), Arji Manuelpillai (Artist) and Chris Stenton (People Dancing) - book here

Thursday 10th March 1 to 2.30PM LAHWN and Leeds Arts Development: Arts and Social Prescribing Event  **Pending finalisation - SAVE THE DATE**

Friday 11th March 11.15 to 12.00PM LAHWN and Forum Central: Culture of Mental Health Forum Mental Health, the Arts and Social Inclusion are the focus for our second meeting - you can book here.

Arts Health Research: Intensive Training programme 9th to 13th May 2022

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd May CHWA: Creativity and Wellbeing Week
This year's theme: "GET CREATIVE GET OUTDOORS". Learn more here.

For further information on arts, culture and creative activities happening across Leeds visit Leeds Inspired here.

For further videos on arts, health and wellbeing visit the LAHWN Youtube Channel with recordings of this year's webinars and forum meetings as well as a range of other local organisations. 

Culture Health and Wellbeing International Conference 2021 - Recordings now available

You can now catch up on all the recordings from the conference including keynotes, presentations and workshops via Youtube. The recordings are organised by theme:
Day 1 – INEQUALITY Day 2 – POWER Day 3 – SUSTAINABILITY  You can find an overview of the Conference Programme to find LAHWN and our members included on the Playlist.

If you love listening to stories about arts, health and Leeds you are in luck as we have some absolute corkers to share with you:

Linking Leeds - Leeds' city-wide Social Prescribing service - have just launched a weekly podcast inspired by members of their People’s Voice Group. Many people need help to improve their wellbeing, but often hit barriers to asking for help. In the podcast they will be talking to a variety of people, such as Wellbeing Coordinators, GPs, clients, other professionals, to speak openly on topics like wellbeing and get their view on what barriers exist and how we remove them. Listen to the "Missing Link" podcast here.

You can get a different perspective on Arts and Health from the new series of the "Share Your Secrets" podcast by Bounceback Food CIC, celebrating the diversity of food, art and community! Episode 6 has a spotlight on West Yorkshire featuring interviews with Alice Clayden from Pyramid of Arts as well as Mandy Haigh and Maisie Hirshhorn from Café Leep. Jo Cottam and Diana Ellis, group leaders of Inspire Arts, also share the impact of their Wakefield-based, peer-led community group. Listen to "Share Your Secrets" podcast here.
If you would like to share Arts and Health work or connect with and support network members by recommending resources and opportunities, please get in touch:
Copyright © 2022 Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network, All rights reserved.

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