As the days are getting shorter we are finding ways to get together with two big arts and mental health events to end the year which we hope will be of interest. We have also been connecting with research and evaluation - such as introducing members to researcher, Maria Kapsali, who is developing technology to enable participants to make sounds and light from movement. You can experience this for yourself with the "Inside Yellow Sound" installation next month - details in our diary section.

Upcoming members events focussing on arts and mental health

A Culture of Mental Health Launch  

Following interest from members of LAHWN and Forum Central, we have created an informal get-together to discuss the current capacity and barriers for arts to support COVID-19 recovery with a focus on experiences in Leeds.

New collaborations, partnerships and ways of working have been vital over the last 18 months - we will be sharing developments within health and the arts showcasing how Creative Frame have used arts approaches as part of suicide prevention in Leeds. We aim to for this to be the beginning of a series of conversations, bringing arts, health and research together to problem solve and share best practice.

Join us 1.30 to 2.30pm on Wednesday 24th November

Wellbeing at work: the value of creativity, arts and culture

In our network we have been talking regularly about the challenges of working in arts and in health and how to stay well as we adapt to new ways of working. We hope you can join us at this free, interactive, virtual event in partnership with the Mindful Employer Network to celebrate the value of creativity for wellbeing in our workplaces where we seek to:

  • Understand the value of arts and culture in health and employment 
  • Engage in a simple creative activity with Inkwell Arts that you can take back and share with your team
  • Share insights and examples of how arts and creative activity can support workplace wellbeing
  • Explore the role of the arts in addressing future workplace and mental health challenges

This session will be led by our network alongside Leeds Mind's Inkwell Arts and we will be exploring these themes as a group so welcome anyone to share their own knowledge and examples of what works and also to gain insight about current needs in the workplace.

Join us online 10.30am to 12.00pm on Thursday 16th December

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

University of Leeds Sadler Series: 'Sensory Storytelling, Imagination and Wellbeing'

Last month the annual Sadler Seminars launched including a series developed by LAHWN member, Dr Freya Bailes and colleagues, asking how sensory storytelling through different art practices and sensory registers can help us to question and understand relationships between imagination and wellbeing. The first online workshop aims to explore how different forms of sensory imagination (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, as well as movement) relate to wellbeing
but co-incides with LAHWN arts and mental health event 24th November from 1.30PM. Further details and registration via

Forum Central: Leeds for All week-long programme from Monday 29 November

The theme this year's events for International Day of Disabled People is “Leeds for All – Recovery from Covid-19”. Join LAHWN members across arts and health including Thackray Medical Museum, Ascendance and Purple Patch Arts for a series of accessible and inclusive performances, stories, exhibitions and discussions. All events are free to attend and open to everyone. The week will close with a celebration event on Friday 3rd December at Leeds City Museum. Find all the details here.

"Be Curious LATES": sharing pioneering pandemic research 

Although not focused on the arts this upcoming online event is a chance to catch up on how researchers are responding to the global pandemic: learning about tackling loneliness, investigating impacts on children’s development and addressing the many challenges of Long COVID.

Join three Leeds researchers - Dr Manoj Sivan, Dr Cat Davies and Leanne Shearsmith - as they describe how they are applying their expertise to investigate the impact of COVID-19 and come up with solutions to support society’s recovery. 

What's happening in LAHWN's focus areas?

Baring Foundation: How can heritage and creativity support mental health?

This month a new report -  Creatively Minded and Heritage -  has been published which provides an overview, through 18 case studies from across the UK, on how heritage and arts organisations are drawing on a wide range of heritage assets and art forms to support people’s mental health and promote community connections.
Read the report here.

Synergi: Launch of the Synergi National Pledge Alliance and Symposium

We have been sharing a number of events related to Synergi's work with their Creative Spaces programme in Leeds, exploring the challenges and realities behind having a National Pledge to reduce ethnic inequalities in mental health systems. Their latest event on 25th November will focus on learning in Leeds, Greater Manchester, London and Birmingham alongside special arts performances. Find tickets and full information here

Dance On Yorkshire: how dance has helped older people of Yorkshire get active

LAHWN member Professor Sarah Astill got in touch to share a new summary of research about the Yorkshire Dance's Dance On programme conducted by the University of Leeds with Doncaster Community Arts (also known as darts). It shares the role of dance in increasing physical activity levels as well as contributing to falls prevention. Read the pamphlet here.

The Arts & Health Hub: Impact Report on their Support Hub

We have been having regular conversations sharing learning with the London-based Arts and Health Hub. They have got in touch to share findings from The Support Hub they began running in November 2020, which has provided a multi-layered approach to support artists working in the arts & health sector - specifically:
  • Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Support: Six online sessions, once a month, for 6 months;
  • Supervision: Six online supervision sessions, once a month, for 6 months;
  • 1-2-1 Mentoring over a 3-4 month period, in person and online.
Members interested in learning more about supporting artists can read the full report here mentioning our network as a possible way to build on what has been learnt.

If you are interested in this topic you may want to read the Baring Foundation's latest blog describing their plans to support the wellbeing of artists, also published this month. 
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:

Leeds Inspired : Small and Large Grant Schemes

Leeds Inspired has a grant scheme that support arts events and projects taking place in Leeds. Since April 2012 they have funded over 650 arts projects, working with a wide range of audiences, artists and communities across Leeds. If you are thinking about submitting a Leeds Inspired grant application and would like to talk about your idea you can email to arrange an informal grants surgery.

The Leeds Inspired Small Grant Scheme accepts applications for arts projects grants of between £100 and £1200 and the deadline is Thursday 2 Dec 12 noon.

The Leeds Inspired Main Grant Scheme accepts applications for arts project grants up to £10,000 and the next deadline for applications is Thursday 20 Jan 2022 12 noon.
Learn more on their website here.

Centre for Cultural Value: Collaborate Fund for Researchers

This is a new fund for individual academic researchers or research teams from any discipline to access between £5k and £20k for collaborative research projects with the cultural sector. You must have a PhD at the time of application and currently be working at a UK based university or higher education institution.
Find all the details here and book onto their upcoming event about the fund on Thursday December 9 at 10.00AM here.
Expressions of interest can be made from 6th December to 26th January 2022
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:

Leeds Playhouse: Creative Support Workers

Fixed term - 18 hours per week until July 2022.

Pay: £5,985 for the contract (equivalent to £9.50 per hour or £171 per week).

Leeds Playhouse is recruiting for four compassionate and supportive people to become Creative Support Worker across:

· Youth Theatre – weekly sessions for young people aged 5 – 25

· Breeze Arts Foundation – alternative education for people aged 16 – 19

· Buzz – young people with learning disabilities

· Creative Communities – supporting older people in Heydays, people living with dementia in Our Time and female refugees in our choir, Asmarina Voices

You will support participants to experience creative opportunities and holistic person-centred support, using creative arts as a tool to express, develop skills and support positive wellbeing. 

Find out more about the roles here.

The closing date for applications is Monday 29 November at 10am.

The Arts Catalyst: Trustees sought

Arts Catalyst have been described as one of the UK’s leading art and research organisations and regularly work in collaboration with artists, scientists and communities around the world. They are looking for trustees based in the North of England who feel enthusiastic about contemporary arts and care about the environment and the role cultural organisations play in creating societal change. Learn more at
Deadline 5pm Tuesday 30th November 

Thackray Museum of Medicine: Vacancy for Programmes Curator

Full-time maternity cover for 12 months
Salary: £25,000 pa

The museum is keen to find a medical history subject specialist to inform and inspire their exhibitions, digital and research programmes for the next 12 months, collaborating with partners from academics to local young people. Full details and application form here.
Open day: Thursday 25th November: 10am – 2pm
Deadline for applications: Thursday 2nd December 5pm

Displace Yourself Theatre (DYT): Arts and Wellbeing Training

This new training programme is designed for artists and creative practitioners to use their practice to support people’s health and wellbeing. DYT are committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion, and this programme is aimed at reaching underrepresented artists - specifically ethnically diverse artists - with a connection to Bradford: working and/or living in or interested in bringing their practice there. Read more at
Application deadline is Friday 10th December by 5pm.

Cultural, Heritage & Wellbeing International Winter School 2022

This five-day winter school will be delivered by a highly experienced team of experts who are leading in different fields connected to cultural heritage and wellbeing. It aims to support professionals working in or with the cultural heritage sector in the development of outreach programs using heritage collections for wellbeing activities. The focus during the winter school is on green spaces of care and community engagement.
Dates: 24 until 28 January 2022
Location: National Waterfront Museum in Swansea (Wales)
Price: 350 Euros (approximately £295)
Read full details here.

Singing for Health Network: Upcoming events

This UK-based membership network has a number of upcoming events covering topics such as Singing and Parkinsons, Singing and Lung Health as well as Singing and Pain. Learn more and book on their website.

New resources for members in developing their knowledge and practice:

The Centre for Cultural Value: Research digest on 
Young people’s mental health

This digest reviews and summarises existing research to make it more easily accessible, so its insights can be understood and applied more widely.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic there has been much attention on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing - the digest explores where arts and cultural programmes fit into this picture with findings including:

·       Music programmes were most represented within the literature, with music composition and lyric writing in particular offering young people a creative outlet, as well as a way to cope with challenging circumstances and reflect on trauma. 

·       Some studies demonstrated that engaging with culture helped young people cope with difficult feelings and acts as a distraction from negative thoughts. The phrase ‘safe space’ was a recurring theme.

·       While there was promising evidence of the positive value of cultural experiences, there were some instances of increases in challenging behaviours or participation leading to a re-living of traumatic experiences. 

Read the digest here and find other digests on topics such as culture on referral and using arts and culture in training healthcare students.

To explore over 600 resources on arts and health visit the Arts and Health Repository here.

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

Tuesday 23rd November 3.00 to 4.30PM Baring Foundation: Creatively Minded and Heritage Report Launch Baring Foundation launch their latest report on excellent practice in mental health, heritage & creativity. Tickets available here

Wednesday 24th November 1.30 to 2.30PM LAHWN and Forum Central: A Culture of Health Launch A chance to share knowledge across sectors, to better understand challenges and develop new partnerships. Full details and tickets here.

Wednesday 24th November 1.30 to 3.30PM Sadler Series: Sensory Storytelling, Imagination and Wellbeing An online workshop exploring sensory experiences in relation to wellbeing. Further details and registration via

Wednesday 24th November 12.00 to 1.30PM Singing for Health Network: Singing and Parkinson’s webinar Cost £5 or free for members of the Singing for Health Network. Full details here.

Thursday 25th November 10.00AM  to 2.30PM Synergi: National Pledge Alliance and Symposium An event drawing on Synergi's Creative Spaces health interventions model to explore the challenges and realities behind actioning the seven Pledge commitments in Leeds, Greater Manchester, London and Birmingham alongside special guest performances. Full details here.

Monday 29th November 1.00 to 2.00PM CHWA and Creative Lives Wellbeing Session This session will explore working well with the wellbeing sector, dealing with the practicalities of engaging with the language and systems of the health service as well as advice about negotiating the world of Social Prescribing. Learn more and book here. 

Monday 29th November to 3rd December Forum Central: Leeds For All A week-long programme of events for International Day of Disabled People leading to a marketplace at Leeds City Museum on 3rd December. 

Monday 29th November to 4th December Touchstone and LMWS/LGBT+ Minds Community Wellbeing Festival This event is open to anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+, lives or works in Leeds and has experience of using or needing mental health services.

Tuesday 7th December, 8.00 to 9.00PM University of Leeds: Be Curious LATES An opportunity to understand pandemic trends through emerging research. Book your ticket here

Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th December 10.00AM to 6.00PM Stage@Leeds: Inside Yellow Sound A chance to book 20 minutes in-real-life at Stage@Leeds within a multi sensory installation Inside Yellow Sound, developed in collaboration with Extant, the UK’s leading performing arts company of visually impaired people. Book your ticket here

Thursday 16th December 10.30AM to 12.00PM LAHWN and Mindful Employers Network: Wellbeing at work - the value of creativity, arts and culture A get together on the role of creativity and the arts in a healthy workplace. Learn more and book here

Wednesday 12th January 10.30AM to 12.00PM LAHWN Creative Ageing Forum with Yorkshire Dance  *SAVE THE DATE*

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

Recent arts and health films and videos relevant to Leeds:

Thriving Communities: how artists have been working with social prescribers to unlock their creative potential

As part of Leeds' year-long Thriving Communities project led by Space 2 Leeds, the Art Doctors have been working with Linking Leeds Wellbeing Coordinators to get creative and to reflect on how creative activity affects their mental health & social prescribing practice. Learn more by watching their new film here.
If you want to learn more about social prescribing the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance (CHWA) are partnering on a conversation event next Monday focused on this theme.
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. 

Recent podcasts about arts and health in Leeds and beyond:

We were pleased to see LAHWN member, Alan Lyddiard, from the Performance Ensemble featured in The Northern Voice podcast in their "Let's Get Leading" episode on Power, Politics and Theatre speaking about the disappearing voices of older people and about the community-professional binary in theatre. Other guests explore topics including young people and dance, the idea of Northern Powerhouses and theatres releasing Black Lives Matter statements. Listen here.

Would you like to describe how you know arts, creativity and culture make a difference to health on a podcast? Arts, culture and community workers are invited to get in touch with Hazel at Light on Leeds to share their stories at hazelmillichamp@gmail.comHealth and care professionals are invited to share stories on arts for wellbeing -  please submit bullet points of your story to

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 © 2021 Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network, All rights reserved.

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