We are going back to school at Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network with lots of opportunities for learning and developing our practice:
Image Credit: Twins Growing Up - Ian Beesley/Born In Bradford

How Born in Bradford aims to use medical research to understand the impact of arts and culture on young people's health

LAHWN have been talking to Professor John Wright and Ian Beesley about the Born in Bradford study which has been running for 14 years and involves around 13,500 children in Bradford. Ian, an artist in residence at Born in Bradford, described how collaboration between researchers, children, families and artists is essential in the project with creative output from photography to sculpture and publications, produced primarily in the interests of the community of participants. Some of the most popular work is portraits of twins taking part in the research.
Professor Wright described how their new cultural study will cast the net even wider - looking at the impact of culture on every young person in Bradford. The study will follow young people's health, from blood pressure to mental health, and look at if and how it is affected by exposure to arts and culture providing vital information to cultural organisations, commissioners and other decision-makers.  

Read more in the Telegraph and Argus here and learn more about the project on their website.

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

How the PAR3TY Project learnt about the experience of cancer through arts

The PAR3TY project, led in 2021 by a research team from the UK and Canada, was created to guide a group of young adults in conveying how their care could be improved by sharing their lived experiences and insights with cancer care allies through performance. The project used three qualitative research methodologies: Patient Activated Research, Participatory Action Research and Performance As Research. Next month's dissemination event of particular may be of particular interest to performance and health care academics, researchers of participatory arts methods, healthcare professionals working with patients who have cancer, and postgraduate researchers.  

LAHWN members are invited to hear more about the project, its aims and its outcomes, to watch the films and to speak to the young people involved who will meet face to face for the first time since the project began. The event will take place on Wednesday 6th October 2021 and will run from 6pm - 7pm at the University of Leeds or via Zoom.

Please book your place by sending a brief email to Kate Crook, Research Assistant at, indicating if you would like to attend in person or via Zoom.

Move Dance Feel: 'Dance in Cancer Care: Introductory Training' Weekend 

Following LAHWN's work with Bristol-based Move Dance Feel, as part of the Beyond Measure programme last year, we were contacted about new training aimed at people working across the health sector, as well as across the dance sector. The training is designed to share their findings and further communicate the need for dance in this context

There is a cost of £300 including the training, food and 2 nights accommodation in a private room however a small number of subsidised places (50% of the cost) are available for those who may be experiencing financial hardship.

Learn more here.
Deadline for expressions of interest 29th September.

UCL and RSPH: New Online Arts and Health Course Launching October

Earlier this year LAHWN members were invited to take part in University College London (UCL) research exploring the active ingredients of arts, culture and heritage that can benefit our health. This research has been used to create new online courses - "Arts, Culture and Heritage: Understanding Complex Effects On Our Health" - with the Royal Society of Public Health with free places for Early Career Researchers and community organisations. We will be sharing more information on this soon but you can register your interest here.

Leeds Arts University: Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice

This two day symposium on 14th and 15th October brings researchers, practitioners and activists together to discuss sustainable approaches to creative practices, with a range of speakers including a Keynote from Maxwell Ayamba of Sheffield's 100 Black Men Walk for Health. Learn more here.

Centre for Cultural Value: Covid-19 - Changing Culture Conference 17-18 November 2021

Cultural sector leaders and practitioners, policymakers, funders and researchers are invited to join two days of sharing and discussing insights from a 15-month national Covid-19 research programme. Booking is now open. Tickets £25 with free places for freelancers and unwaged. Learn more here.
The Centre for Cultural Value are also seeking practising artists and creative practitioners to engage up to 300 attendees before/during/after the conference with something participative, reflective, imaginative and/or transformative. The fee will be £1000 to £1500 including VAT and materials. Full details here.
Deadline 11th October

What's happening the network's focus areas?

Mentally Healthy Leeds: Survey on Bereavement and Loss During the Pandemic

This survey is open to anybody who lives in Leeds who has lost a loved one in the past two years, either from COVID-19 or any other causes. Over the past two years many of us have experienced the pain of bereavement and loss. At the same time our ability to grieve and process these losses in normal ways has been heavily restricted. Sharing your experiences around this topic can do a great deal of good – it can help our city better understand the issues around grief during the pandemic as well as identifying ways to support our communities through this difficult time.
You can find the two page survey here - please consider completing and sharing in your networks. If you have any questions or concerns relating to this survey or research project, then please email

Mainstreaming Global Mental Health: Event Registration and Network 'Match-making'

LAHWN members involved in mental health and wellbeing, particularly if they take an art-based approach, are encouraged to attend and contribute to this international knowledge exchange. Practitioners and researchers can learn how UK-funded research projects have worked with partners in developing countries employing arts-based methods to understand and promote mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. There will be an opportunity to make connections in mental health and the arts to enrich your practice and extend your networks and reach. 
Register here for the event on Monday 15 November from 12:00-14:30
Please contact Anna Madill with any questions at

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LMWS): Callout for LGBTQIA+ creatives, performers and wellness practitioners

The LMWS LGBTQIA+ Coproduction project team is planning virtual engagement events between 29th November and 3rd December alongside an in-person event on 4th December 2021 (Covid restrictions permitting). These will be an opportunity for LGBTQIA+ people to share experiences of needing or using mental health services and help come up with ideas for how to make LMWS better for LGBTQIA+ people in the future.

As part of the events, LMWS would like to host some creative and/or wellbeing-themed sessions to thank attendees for sharing their time and their stories, and are looking for LGBTQIA+ creatives, performers and wellness practitioners to run these sessions. This is a paid opportunity, and interest from people from culturally diverse backgrounds, disabled people, older people, people with lived experience of mental health difficulties and anyone who feels their voice isn’t always heard in LGBTQIA+ communities is particularly encouraged. 

For more information, please e-mail

Stitch Up: Free 6 Week Upcycling and embroidery course in Meanwood by referral 

This course is due to start in November as part of Stitch Up's new Mindful Making Project to help improve health and wellbeing through craft and creativity and is aimed at people experiencing mental health difficulties and/ or disadvantage who would benefit from learning new craft skills, being creative and meeting new people in a supportive environment. 
Please get in touch with director, Jen Sharp, if you work with anyone that you think may be interested or know anyone that would benefit and she will send you some more info and a referral form. Call 07944 787964 or email:

Arts and Health Hub with The Royal College of Psychiatrists: Call Out for Creative Workshops

London-based Arts and Health Hub are seeking six artists to run online creative lunchtime workshops for psychiatrists that are members of the College’s Arts Special Interest Group. Each artist will be paid £130 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to deliver a one-hour session involving accessible activities with minimal materials required. Participants may be at home or in a working environment, including potentially in a hospital or office setting. Learn more here.
Deadline for applications: 5pm on 21st October

The Baring Foundation: Creatively Minded and the NHS

In Leeds we have seen some great partnerships between public health, NHS services and arts organisations such as the Arts and Minds Network and mental health research with DAZL Dance. This month the Baring Foundation has developed an overview of participatory arts offered by NHS Trusts across the UK, offering a range of creative artist-led programmes in both primary and secondary mental health services. Read more here.

NAPA: Consultation on daily creative and cultural opportunities in care settings 

The National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) published a report this month on their consultation exploring what is required to have a daily cultural offer in care settings. The report includes a case study on Leeds from LAHWN members as well as perspectives from care staff and residents across the UK.  Read the report here.

To learn more about what's happening in Creative Ageing read our special edition newsletter for Arts in Care Homes Day

Leeds Older People's Forum: Mental health training and wellbeing support for staff working with older people

Thanks to funding from Leeds City Council, Leeds Older People’s Forum has developed a 6-month programme of training and support for staff working with older people, alongside support for you and your colleagues’ own mental health.
Download the PDF here
Booking is essential - find tickets here
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 Civic Trust: Community Heritage Fund

Leeds Civic Trust wish to celebrate the unique and diverse heritage of Leeds by exploring and sharing stories from across the city, and activities should be based in and engage communities in the Leeds Metropolitan District area. They are particularly keen to learn about histories and heritage that might be considered ‘hidden’ or not widely known, and encourage applications from organisations and communities that may not have engaged with Leeds Civic Trust before.  
Grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 are available to support communities over 2 years to explore, share and celebrate these across the city. Learn more here.
The deadline to apply is 1st November at 12noon. 
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:

Outing The Past Festival 2022: Call for presenters

This International Festival of LGBT+ History is due to be held as a blended event with online programming and an in-person event at Leeds City Museum in 2022. The organisers are keen to receive individuals and groups that showcase either: 

1.    A historical reading of the past, or 

2.    An archival source and personal oral testimonies, sets of photos, or significant documents and the stories behind them 

3.    A researched presentation on a piece of unknown LGBT history

Learn more here.
Closing date 30th September 2021

The Art House: Arts and Health Programme Manager Opportunity

Fixed term 3 days per week to August 2023
Salary: £20,000 per annum, pro rata

Could you lead The Art House's new NHS-funded Arts and Health programme? ‘Re-emerge’ will be an early-intervention programme helping vulnerable people whose mental health has particularly suffered in the pandemic to gently re-engage with others in a non-clinical, creative, supportive and healthy setting so that they can successfully resume their daily lives in a post-pandemic world. Full details here.

Deadline Monday 11th October with view to the post beginning in November.

The Philip Barker Centre for Creative Learning: Call for proposals to deliver webinars on “Making a Radical Shift in Artists Training”

The Phillip Barker Centre, based at University of Chester, are looking for six different artists or creative practitioners with significant experience in socially-engaged, community and participatory arts practice to be involved in delivering an interactive webinar in your chosen area that inspires change. The webinar will be part of a series of six-related conversations about a bigger issue affecting your work, such as:  

  • Holistic training and professional development  
  • Starting work as a freelance practitioner
  • Facilitating diverse groups
  • Responding to communities’ needs and interests
  • Accessing ongoing practice and wellbeing support
  • Ways to inspire change in training and practice.

A one-off fee of £400 (including preparation) per webinar session will be provided to selected artists / creative practitioners. You can find full details here.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 15th October.

New resources for members in developing their knowledge and practice:

We Are IVE: “C is for Creativity… And 29 Other Ways to Nurture Healthy Young Minds”

We Are IVE are offering a free pack of prompt cards, which includes 26 ‘A-Z' cards and 4 'wildcards' that define different aspects of wellbeing and offer a call to action that can help you collaboratively strengthen children’s social & emotional wellbeing and competencies.
Express your interest in this free resource here
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:

**September is Pain Awareness Month**

Thursday 30th September to Friday 1st October Eurocities Culture Forum: Culture and creativity for health and wellbeing in post-pandemic cities LAHWN members will be speaking about the development of a Creative Ageing Forum in Leeds at 12.25pm on Thursday as part of a panel on Ageing Europe Learn more and register here.

Friday 1st October 11.00AM to 12.00PM LAHWN Creative Ageing Forum Meeting on International Day of Older Persons Leeds Playhouse host our next online forum meeting sharing experiences of performing and making art later in life from across our region. Book here.

Thursday 7th October Big Leeds Chat: Staying Healthy In Leeds [Digital Event] The Big Leeds Chat brings organisations and individuals involved in health and care planning across Leeds together to listen to the voices of local people. Learn more and book tickets here.

Friday 8th October UK's Third Annual Social Prescribing Link Worker Day

Sunday 10th October World Mental Health Day

Wednesday 13th October 9.00AM to 3.30PM Celebrating the MARCH Network: An Online Showcase MARCH will be reflecting on bringing together nearly 2,000 researchers, policy makers, community organisations and individuals with lived experience of mental illness. Learn more and get free tickets here.

Wednesday 13th October 2.00 to 3.30PM Centre for Cultural Value: We Need to Talk About Evaluation This webinar is aimed at cultural evaluation specialists, cultural sector practitioners interested in evaluation and funders. Full details and how to book here

Thursday 14th and Friday 15th October 9.45AM to 3.15PM Leeds Arts University: Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice This FREE two day symposium brings researchers, practitioners and activists together to discuss sustainable approaches to creative practices. Register here. 

Wednesday 20th to 30th October Intercultured Festival 2021 Find a range of events from arts and social change to practical skills happening online and in person across Bradford and Keighley at the Eventbrite page.

Wednesday 17th to Thursday 18th November 9.00AM to 5.00PM Centre for Cultural Value: Covid-19 - Changing Culture? Two days of sharing and discussing insights from a 15-month national #Covid research programme. Tickets are £25 with limited free places available for freelance and unwaged cultural practitioners. Book here.

Friday 19th November International Men's Day 2021

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:

World Health Innovation Summit: Art Impact For Health and Sustainable Development Goals

Hear from a wide range of speakers, taking examples from across the globe, including David McQuillan and Debs Teale in Calderdale (at about 32 minutes in). Watch 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. 

Recent podcasts about arts and health in Leeds and beyond:

"Thought-provoking", "Brilliant", "Inspirational", "Emotional", "Wow fantastic", "Really inspiring"... just some of the feedback we've had from listeners to the latest Arts for Wellbeing podcast from Humans of Healthcare with Wendy Neill at the Giving Voice Choir in Leeds. Listen to the latest episode here.

Would you like to describe how you know arts, creativity and culture make a difference to health on a podcast?

Health and care professionals are invited to share stories on arts for wellbeing -  please submit bullet points of your story to

Arts, culture and community workers are invited to get in touch with Hazel at Light on Leeds to share their stories at
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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