As winter comes to an end we are excited to share the results of a six-month project looking at developing to role creativity can play in mental health written by LAHWN members, Victoria Hume and Minoti Parikh as our headline feature.
Among a wide range of news, we have a request from a researcher to view participatory arts activities and new awards, funding and work including opportunities for trustees from a range of backgrounds. 

From Surviving to Thriving...

Building a model for sustainable practice in creativity and mental health

Victoria Hume at the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance contacted LAHWN to share their latest report, co-written by LAHWN member Minoti Parikh. It is the result of a six-month project, funded by the Baring Foundation, to understand how more people and organisations, who use creativity to support mental health, can survive and thrive.
At the heart of the report are a series of recommendations for five groups: practitioners, commissioning organisations (whether arts, health or care), funders, researchers and infrastructure organisations. Read the recommendations here The report was developed with around 150 creative practitioners and organisations working in this area, including in our region, and hopefully will be an important step forward in understanding creative health and setting baseline recommendations for progress. 
Read the full report "From Surviving to Thriving" here

Reminder: LAHWN and Leeds Culture Programmes - Introduction to Arts and Social Prescribing

We will hear from representatives from Feel Good Factor, Space 2, Linking Leeds, and other speakers involved in social prescribing from arts and health backgrounds. 
Book your ticket on Social Prescribing Day - Thursday 10th March - from 1 to 2PM here

Reminder: LAHWN and Forum Central - Culture of Mental Health Forum Meeting

This session will share 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.

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

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

Sarah Faulkner: Could you help a local researcher see participatory arts and health in action?

Are you running creative workshops or events with communities or groups in the next few weeks? If so would you be prepared to take a grateful MA Applied Theatre student with you as an observer / helping hand? Sarah Faulkner is an ex-NHS nurse and has current DBS check certificates for children and vulnerable adults. She has her own transport and will provide ID / University verification. If yes, please contact her at or if you prefer her university email,

University of Leeds Poetry Centre and Leeds Teaching Hospitals: Staff Poetry Competition

Leeds Teaching Hospitals have a history of writers in residence and staff poetry on themes such as hand hygiene, and they have just celebrated their first staff poetry competition winners. “People often turn to poetry in times of their life that are significant and meaningful and I enjoyed the glow of optimism that shone through,” said judge Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate and Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds Poetry Centre, at the University of Leeds Poetry Centre, who selected the winner. Congratulations to Mischa Atkinson and finalists Victor Gill and Andrew Toothill.

Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH): Arts and Health Award

This award recognises organisations whose work has furthered the contribution of the creative arts to health and wellbeing. The award criteria includes:

  • Providing high quality creative arts and music provision that addresses significant health and wellbeing issues affecting individuals, families and the wider community
  • Supporting patients, families and healthcare staff involved in the planning and delivery of creative arts and music provision for health and wellbeing
  • Strong partnership-working between creative artists, musicians, the NHS, public health professionals and other stakeholders
  • Attention to sensitivity towards issues of cultural diversity and social inclusion

Category winners have the opportunity to be selected for the prestigious Public Health Minister’s Award. If selected for the award you will receive a winner’s logo, certificate and trophy, and a case study featured on the RSPH website. All finalists will receive one complimentary place to attend the annual celebratory RSPH Awards event in October 2022 where the winners will be announced.

The Health & Wellbeing Awards are free to enter and open to all organisations and sole traders/freelancers who promote health and wellbeing as part of their role – it is the impact of your health improvement activity that counts. 
Closing date is Thursday 21st April at 5PM

Learn more about the RSPH Arts and Health Award here
Learn about other RSPH Awards in Community Health Development, Health & Wellbeing in Workplaces, Healthier Lives, Public Mental Health & Wellbeing, Health at Every Age and Health Equity

Global Brain Health Institute & Creative Aging International: Creative Brain Week from March 12th

Creative Brain Week brings together world-leading neuroscientists, educationalists, health policy makers, artists and innovators to explore the brain and creativity. A range of online events are available alongside in-person events in Dublin.
View the Creative Brain Week programme here

What's happening in LAHWN's focus areas?

SAVE THE DATE & CALLOUT FOR CONTENT - West Yorkshire Adversity, Trauma & Resilience Knowledge Exchange 

Following on from the successful West Yorkshire Adversity, Trauma and Resilience Knowledge Exchange last year, another virtual three day event will be held on the 26th, 27th and 28th April.
Planning is underway for the event, and the team would like to coproduce the agenda with partners. Click the button below to get a feel of the previous event, and if you'd be interested in providing content for the exchange (such as a presentation, case study, resource, video, etc) please contact Sarah Wilson at Forum Central at

Learn more about last year's Trauma and Resilience Knowledge Exchange here

Leeds Menopause Festival 2022: Invitation for stall holders and activity hosts on Saturday 9th April

Are you an organisation or individual who would be interested in supporting Leeds menopause and wellbeing festival? This may include hosting an information stall, activity, talk or volunteering time to support our event. Please contact Janette Ward at Leeds Recovery College with any questions at or on: 07977327558.
Find the application form here or contact Janette Ward for a copy

Leeds Creative Ageing Forum and the Creative Ageing Development Agency (CADA) Meeting

On the anniversary of the creation of Leeds Creative Forum we will be holding a small in person meeting Dr Virginia Tandy (CADA) to explore three key objectives of the forum:

1. Identifying local health priorities and outcomes in relation to older people that may be delivered in partnership with arts and culture

2. Developing partnerships between arts/culture and health, care and local authority to make Leeds the best city to grow old in and a place where people age well.

3. Understanding what is happening nationally in Creative Ageing

The meeting will be hosted by Machteld De Ryuck from Leeds Playhouse with support from Geraldine at Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network.

Learn more about the LAHWN event on Wednesday 9th March 1PM to 2PM
If you are not able to make this event you can find Virginia Tandy and LAHWN member, Nicky Taylor, speaking at a British Council Forum on the same day as part of an overview of creative ageing in the UK and the latest programmes for older people being run by cultural and arts organisations across Japan and the UK. The session will also look to the future and explore how arts and culture can approach the issue of isolation and support the wellbeing of the older people, in a post-pandemic world.
Learn more about the British Council Forum on Wednesday 9th March 9AM to 11AM

Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN): Fair and Equitable

Fair & Equitable (F&E) is a five year programme and commitment to instituting equity within the visual arts sector in England, led by Dr Cecilia Wee and Veionella Spaine in the CVAN England team, in conjunction with the nine CVAN England regions including YVAN in Yorkshire. 

The aim of the Fair and Equitable programme is to make a significant contribution over a five year period, to developing a visual arts sector and ecology that facilitates the leadership and thriving of artists and arts workers from underrepresented and marginalised communities. 

They have identified three key constituencies for the Fair and Equitable programme:

  • Artists and arts workers from marginalised communities
  • Individuals working in arts organisations
  • CVAN regional networks

2021 – 22 is a pilot phase for the programme; testing some approaches within the regions, gathering information from artists and arts workers and establishing a baseline for this work going forward. By September 2022, the end of this pilot phase, they aim to document their process and outline broader goals and outcomes for the rest of the programme 2022 – 26. 

Learn more about CVAN's Fair and Equitable Programme here
Complete the CYAN survey for individuals from underrepresented and marginalised communities to share their views and experiences of the visual arts sector

HATCH and The Art Doctors: Creative mental health and wellbeing support in the workplace

LAHWN members, The Art Doctors, have been in touch to share their creative wellbeing offer for organisations. Whether you are looking for a local creative retreat (the Great Escape) for staff members' personal wellbeing or if you are interested in in-house creative sessions you can arrange a short online taster session to find out more. Contact Alison MacIntyre at or on 07944 552354.
Learn more about Art Doctor's Great Escape Retreat costing £320, including all activities, food and accommodation.
Learn more about Art Doctor's workplace wellbeing approaches
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:

Music for All: February 2022 Award Session is now open

Their first round of Community Project funding for 2022 includes the following grants on offer:

1) General fund for community projects around the UK who are looking for financial support for their music projects. You can apply for up to £1500 in this category.

2) Projects based on community choirs. Up to £1500 per successful application to support one or multiple community projects.

3) Projects experiencing financial difficulty, especially those in deprived areas of the UK. Up to £1500 per successful application to support one or multiple community projects.

4) Educational establishments helping school aged children underserved by music teaching and learning resources within their schools. Up to £1500 per successful application to support one or multiple educational establishments.

They are also inviting applications for instruments (some are niche or specialist and there is no additional cash awarded) for projects which are based on electric guitars, acoustic guitars, ukuleles, MS-1-BK analogue synths and keyboards. 

Closes Friday 1st April 2022

Historic England: Everyday Heritage Grants - Celebrating Working Class Histories

Historic England is inviting applications from community or heritage organisations to apply for grants up to £25,000 to fund projects that will celebrate the built or historic environment near them. They are particularly interested in funding smaller grass roots projects of less than £10,000. Each project should enable people to creatively share overlooked or untold stories of the places where they live and encourage communities, groups and local people to examine and tell their own stories in their own ways.

Historic England is also hoping for projects that provide innovative volunteering opportunities for young people or people facing loneliness or isolation, as well as contribute positively to participants’ wellbeing.
If you would like to access further support with applying for Everyday Heritage Grants on creating a proposal and application support they have two drop in sessions:

  • Tuesday 22 March 2022 – 10.30 - 12.00 
  • Thursday 31 March 2022 – 15.30 - 17.00 

Reserve your space by contacting  
Closes Monday 23 May

Learn more about Historic England Grant Funding here
For further information on upcoming grant funding, contracts and social finance, visit Voluntary Action Leeds Funding Update here and Funding Leeds here.

Opportunities for members and their networks in arts and health:

Mind the Gap: Last chance to come to ANNA

An interactive Forum Theatre workshop exploring experiences of learning disabled people when they become a parent aimed at health professionals, arts practitioners and students
Since 2016, ANNA has provided interactive training using Forum Theatre for people working alongside parents with learning disabilities including midwives, child and adult social services, clinical psychologists, learning disability nurses - at first through live workshops and more recently through a digital training package.

You can register for the ANNA workshop taking place from 11AM to 1PM on Wednesday 16th March here

Mind the Gap: World Theatre of the Oppressed Day Panel Discussion

If you’re interested in learning more about Forum Theatre methodologies, consider attending this workshop that mark World Theatre of the Oppressed Day, in honour of founder Augusto Boal’s 91st birthday. This is an opportunity to meet Forum Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners from around the world to hear about their practice.
A link to this event will be sent with the link to the Anna online workshop for those interested in attending. Again ticket prices are £7.50 with £5 concessions but please contact Mind The Gap if the cost would be a barrier to attending.
Leran more about the Panel Discussion and book your ticket for Wednesday 16th March 1.30 to 3PM

Arts and health charities: Call for Trustees

Mafwa Theatre brings refugees, asylum seekers and settled communities together in Leeds.A position on the Board could be a great way to use your experience to support their work, develop new skills and work as part of a team to advocate for migrant rights and marginalised communities.
Learn more about joining Mafwa's board of trustees here
Ascendance is a Leeds dance company who have been running a thriving Dancing with Parkinson’s Programme across Yorkshire and beyond to improve health & wellbeing through dance exercise, social interaction and performance driven projects. They want people from all backgrounds, communities, and experiences to be part of Ascendance both in terms of how the company is run and in the stories that they tell and want to welcome some new people to join the existing board of trustees to do just that - to be part of shaping the company’s future.
Learn more on the Ascendance website
Pyramid invests in people with a learning disability through the discovery, development and disruption of the arts. They're recruiting new Trustees & we're looking for people from a diverse range of backgrounds to broaden the skill-set of their Board.
Find out how to become a Pyramid Trustee here

New resources for members in developing their knowledge and practice:

Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health: “Health Through Arts - Connecting People & Communities” Webinar Series

As part of this new webinar series you can find upcoming events and past recordings on a range of arts and health topics:
  • Applied puppetry in healthcare and disability
  • Future Stories: co-designing virtual reality (VR) experiences with young people with a serious illness in hospital
  • Applied theatre in paediatrics: Can participatory performance mitigate educational, emotional and social consequences of missing out school during hospitalisation?
  • The Galaxy Choir: Exploring the impact of a choir for adults with a learning disability: promising findings and ways forward
Learn more about the Health Through Arts Webinar series 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:

**Social Prescribing Week 2022 ends 11th March and includes Social Prescribing Day on Thursday 10th March**

Wednesday 9th March 1PM to 2PM **In person at Leeds Playhouse** LAHWN: Leeds Creative Ageing Forum and CADA An opportunity to share perspectives on how cross-sector Creative Ageing projects and other key partnerships have developed/are developing in Leeds and where we go next. Limited places available. Learn more here.
Thursday 10th March 1 to 2.30PM CHWA: Practising Well Conversation Three This final episode of the Practising Well series brings together Nicola Naismith with Daniel Regan (Artist and Arts + Health Hub), Arji Manuelpillai (Artist) and Chris Stenton (People Dancing). Full details and opportunity to book here.

Thursday 10th March 1 to 2PM LAHWN and Leeds Arts Development: Arts and Social Prescribing Webinar A meeting for anyone interested in finding out more about social prescribing in Leeds. Learn more and find tickets here 

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 your place and receive the Zoom link here.

Friday 11th March and Saturday 12th March The Tetley and Art House Wakefield: Panic Together This programme is designed to question artistic practices, share ambitions, artists’ hunches and skills. Find full details of the four day Panic Together programme for artists here.

Saturday 12th March to Wednesday 16th March Creative Brain Week A Dublin-based series of online and in-person events which explore and celebrate how brain science and creativity collide. Learn more here. 

Wednesday 16th March 11AM to 1PM Mind the Gap Theatre: Anna Workshop Anna is an online interactive Forum Theatre workshop that explores a series of true-life scenarios that are experienced by learning disabled people when they become a parent. Tickets cost £5 – £7.50 Learn more here.

Wednesday 16th March 1.30PM to 3PM Mind the Gap Theatre: World Theatre of the Oppressed Day 2022 Panel Discussion. The panel explores how we respond to the changes in the world and stay relevant with Theatre of the Oppressed practice. Tickets cost £5 – £7.50 Learn more here. 

Monday 28th March to Friday 1st April WYHCP: VCSE Showcase Week An online event to showcase and celebrate the Impact on health and wellbeing outcomes of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector working in partnership with Health and Social Care. Learn more here

What's coming up in the next few months:

Friday 1st April and Saturday 2nd April The Tetley and Art House Wakefield: Panic Together This programme is designed to question artistic practices, share ambitions, artists’ hunches and skills. Find full details of the four day Panic Together programme for artists here.

Saturday 9th April 10AM to 4PM **In person at Headingley Enterprise and Art (HEART) Centre** Leeds Menopause Festival 2022 The festival aims to bring together different organisations, groups, individuals and activities and will include a range of health and wellbeing stalls, guided talks, discussions and activities to try out, which all aim to support conversations and better information about the menopause. Learn more here.

Tuesday 26th to Thursday 28th April **SAVE THE DATE** West Yorkshire Adversity, Trauma and Resilience Knowledge Exchange Learn more and register your interest here.

Sunday 1st to Tuesday 31st May Age UK: Age of Creativity Month A month-long celebration of creativity for, by and with older people - an opportunity to upcoming share arts and health opportunities. Learn more on the Age of Creativity website here.

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd May CHWA: Creativity and Wellbeing Week This year's theme: "GET CREATIVE GET OUTDOORS" - an opportunity to share upcoming arts and health opportunities. Learn more here.

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

Bradford Literature Festival: How we speak about grief - From Keighley to Karachi 

Members at Leeds' The Grief Series recently shared their role in Producers of the Future: From Keighley to Karachi - a ground-breaking international collaboration between Bradford Literature Festival, UK, and Adab Festival in Pakistan, with the aim of developing female talent and leadership in the arts and culture sector.
The development programme featured 10 women selected from Pakistan and Bradford who collaborated digitally to produce a series of online events. This is a holistic discussion, where experts, pioneers, artists and practitioners describe why and how they use grief as a source of creativity, and how they channel their grief through creativity and creating spaces for dialogue.

Watch "How we speak about grief: From Keighley to Karachi" 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. 
We are always looking for new podcasts describing different aspects of arts and health practice. In this newsletter edition we would like to draw attention to Arts and Health South West Podcast series, which was launched at the same time as LAHWN. Episodes range from emerging practice to arts and social change, criminal justice and care setting with the most recent edition exploring Creative Writing, Meditation and Wellbeing - a timely topic as Leeds Literature Festival comes to an end.
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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