In our latest newsletter we share a range of events and projects developed by LAHWN and our members. Following the Baring Foundation's review into "Arts and creativity for people with a severe mental illness", we introduce how arts can support with complex issues such as the incredibly moving work of Stitch Away the Stigma, and ahead of our regional knowledge exchange on trauma share the recent work of Dedicated To All the Others including their new podcast. In this issue:

Pictures of individual participants squares from Stitch Away the Stigma

Stitch Away the Stigma: a new creative project for families affected by someone else's substance use

Over the last year Natalie, who lives and works in Yorkshire and is a member of Adfam's Lived Experience Group (LEAG), launched Stitch Away the Stigma. Natalie says "I began hand-stitching thoughts that came into my head as a way of trying to cope with my Dad’s alcohol addiction. I found the repetitiveness of the stitching therapeutic and calming; the act of channeling my thoughts into something physical so I could see them was extremely cathartic. It stopped them looping over and over when I felt like his addiction had started to take over my own life. This helped me to regain some control over what felt like an impossible situation to have had forced on me."

Stitching has been described as an outlet for some of the pain, anger, and trauma that comes with loving and caring for an addict. If you would like to have a go at stitching your own piece you can be involved - even if you have no experience in hand stitching. Natalie will send you two pieces of hand-dyed fabric, thread, a needle, some instructions, and a return stamped envelope. All you need to do is stitch something that comes into your head when thinking about your loved one and their addiction. You can keep one of the pieces as a reminder of how strong and resilient you are and the other gets sent back.

Natalie will add each piece to a wall hanging that has been created from all those sent back so far and which was displayed earlier in the year. She plans to display it again in November 2022 when a location is confirmed. 

If you would like to learn more, host the wall hanging or be a part of #stitchawaythestigma then please email

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

REMINDER - LAHWN and Failspace Project: Workshop on acknowledging and learning from failure

FailSpace is an AHRC-funded research project based on the principle that learning from failure should be an integral part of the process of making and implementing cultural projects and policies. Join us as we introduce the FailSpace toolkit and learn practical skills to help us better facilitate more honest conversations.

Book your free ticket to our workshop on Thursday 28th April 1-3pm

REMINDER - Call out for members to run an Arts and Health Networking Event this year?

We are offering £400 per session (plus VAT) to enable our members to deliver quarterly networking sessions to support the work of our network and meet at least one of the following objectives:
  • Support building relationships between third sector organisations working within Arts and Culture and the established health and care system,  
  • Support knowledge, skills and broader asset exchange between larger organisations and grassroots groups delivering work around health and wellbeing, 
  • Promote meaningful representation, voice and influence of the arts third sector within the health, care and wellbeing strategic forum,
  • Support longer-term working relationships with health and care partners to achieve things that we cannot do as individuals or organisations – moving from short term projects and relationships, to established embedded collaborative working relationships within the health and care sector, 
  • Increase understanding of local priorities, strategies, structures, and collaborative opportunities through engagement with the Local Care Partnerships, 
  • Identify local health priorities and outcomes that could be delivered in partnership with arts and culture, 
  • Promote active connections with local third sector infrastructure (such as Forum Central or Voluntary Action Leeds)  
Get in touch to tell us your idea for a networking event in no more than 200 words, which objectives it fits with and any restrictions on when the event can be held (Summer 22, Autumn 22, Winter 22 and Spring 23). LAHWN governance and Forum Central staff will then review the ideas we receive.

If you are successful you will receive funds to run an event open to LAHWN members which we will publicise through LAHWN and Forum Central. You will also need to provide a brief summary of the event, its context, content, and outcomes with photos of the event or other visual documentation. Please contact us with any questions or to make a submission in your preferred format.

Deadline 4th May 2022
Contact LAHWN regarding your network event idea here

New for 2022 is the Be Curious Tinker Space, which is a family-friendly opportunity to get hands-on including work developed with LAHWN members exploring belonging through creativity. Explore research through creative activities and Maker Kits, which will be available for you to get making on the day, or take home.  

There’s no need to book and all age groups are welcome.  

View the full Be Curious programme here

What's happening in LAHWN's focus areas?

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Una is a local artist and writer. Her first graphic novel Becoming Unbecoming is a memoir that explores sexual violence, misogynistic police and media, victim blaming and femicide in Yorkshire in the 1970s. Her latest project through Dedicated to All the Others brings together the voices of artists and writers who have made autobiographical works around their experiences of violent and sexual crime. Contributors answer the same four questions in a series of videos, or chat about their creative process in a podcast with artist and writer Una. You can learn more on the project website and get in touch by emailing if you’d like to contribute.

Following West Yorkshire's  Adversity, Trauma and Resilience Knowledge Exchange and after two years of pandemic related delays, Brazilian theatre group Coletivo Rubra and Yorkshire artist and writer Una are collaborating on bringing their adaption of Una’s graphic novel Becoming Unbecoming to an international audience with an online event. 

Join the live theatre from Brazil & panel discussion on Sunday 8th May at 7pm by booking here

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing: young people, co-production, creativity and mental health services event

Hosted during Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2022, this is an online event to discuss how co-production and creativity with young people can influence mental health service design and delivery.

Book your place Tuesday 17th May 10am to 11.30am

REMINDER Next Leeds Creative Ageing Forum - 12th May

Our next Creative Ageing Forum will take place in Age of Creativity Month and Creativity and Wellbeing Week, hosted by Leeds Care Delivery Services with support from 100% Digital Leeds. Alongside usual networking opportunities we will be celebrating progress made in our forum in Leeds and across the UK to create and raise awareness of opportunities for older people to enjoy arts and culture.

Helen Manchester, Associate Professor at the University of Bristol, will be sharing learning and reflections on research with Connecting Through Culture As We Age including work with the Leeds-based Centre for Cultural Value. You can find links to their latest research digests below. Esther Amis-Hughes will also give a perspective on how Leeds Museums can contribute to wellbeing in later life. Also - ahead of Dementia Action Week - we will be getting a quick update about a new play, Maggie May, focused on a Leeds family, living with dementia.

Book your tickets to our friendly forum here

Leeds BAME Dementia Roadshow

LAHWN members are invited to find out more diversity in dementia care and learn from each other in this city centre event with lunch and refreshments provided. 
Book your free ticket here

REMINDER: Age of Creativity Festival: May 2022

This annual festival is led by Age UK Oxfordshire, with Age UK and hundreds of Age of Creativity network members across the country. If you are running creative activities / events with, for or by older people, there is still time to list them (it's quick, easy and FREE).
Search for Age Friendly Creative activities or add your own Age Friendly Creative content to this website today...
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:

Baring Foundation: Grants of up to £60K available for Global Majority led arts organisations to develop their work in mental health

Grants of £20k-£60k available for projects taking place over a minimum of two years.

To be eligible, you should be:

  • an established arts organisation of any kind (including CICs), operating in the UK.
  • led by global majority communities in terms of both staff and governance. Please see their Application guidance for definitions.
  • established for at least two years, with audited accounts or management accounts for at least that length of time.

Projects can include partnerships with other arts and mental health organisations or mental health groups or organisations.

If you are interested in applying but have questions you’d like to ask us, two Zoom meetings are being held by Baring Foundation for anyone interested in applying on 9 May and 8 June. You can register for either event here.

The deadline for applications is 12pm midday on 26th July.

Learn more and apply for Baring Foundation Funding here
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:

The Photobook Project: “Only Connect!” International Community Symposium

LAHWN members are invited to join this symposium on the benefits of creative, intergenerational and inclusive practice and research. This will be taking place at Falmouth University and Tate St Ives; bringing together people living with dementia, care commissioners, creative practitioners, young people, national organisations and international representatives for intergenerational projects - creating a unique space for them to connect and challenge the barriers that face our communities.
This year's keynote speakers include: Alison Cylde (CEO of Generations Working Together Scotland) and Rich Bell (Head of Campaigns at The Cares Family).

Tickets cost £38 for individuals and £50 for organisations.

Learn more about the in person events from Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th July 2022

New resources for members in developing their knowledge and practice:

Leeds Older Peoples Forum: Carer Connections Report

Carers Leeds set up the Carers Connections project to offer support to older carers to help them reduce their social isolation through the Time to Shine Programme with support from 100% Digital Leeds. Arts activities such as photography, dance, drama, music, singing, scrapbooking and art and crafts such as yarn bombing were popular and there are some practical learning points for anyone (interested in) working with carers and developing accessible social prescribing activities.
Read the Carers Connection report here

Music for Dementia: Power Of Music Report

If you haven't seen this yet do have a look at this compelling report released this month on the difference music can make and how it might link into the work of National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) in our region seeking to imbed creativity within health structures in our region.
Read the Power of Music Report Here
If you liked this report you may like to revisit last year's Orchestras in Healthcare Report by Leeds-based organisation, Orchestra's Live. Their work developing cross-sector partnerships is continuing and relates to many themes in the Power of Music Report.  
Find the Orchestras in Healthcare Report and an update here
To explore almost 800 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 26th to Thursday 28th April West Yorkshire Adversity, Trauma and Resilience Knowledge Exchange This virtual event, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and West Yorkshire, will bring partners together to explore progress to date, share evidence and best practice. Register here.

Wednesday 27th April 1PM to 3PM Leeds Older People's Forum: State of Ageing Interactive Workshop This workshop will be of interest to organisations working with people aged 50+ and has a focus on healthy ageing, ageing in place and the cost of living. Learn more and register here.

Thursday 28th April 1PM to 3PM LAHWN and Failspace Project Workshop This workshop will be of interest to anyone interested in how we can better acknowledge and learn from failure. Learn more and register here.

What's coming up in the next few months:

Sunday 1st to Tuesday 31st May Age Uk: Age of Creativity Month A month-long celebration of creativity for, by and with older people. Learn more on the Age of Creativity website here.

Tuesday 3rd May 2 to 3PM Baring Foundation: Launch of new commissioned report into Arts and Creativity for People with a Severe Mental Illness At the launch you will hear from three members of the research team - Hannah Zeilig and Julian West from  Unmapped and Corinna Hackmann, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation TrustFind full details and register here.

8th May 7PM to 9PM Dedicated To All The Others: Live Theatre and Panel Discussion This event concludes a period of research as part of a Leeds based project into what it means to make creative responses to experiences of violent and sexual crime. Learn more and book your pay as you feel here.

9th to 15th May Mental Health Awareness Week This year's theme is loneliness.

Thursday 12th May 11AM to 12Noon LAHWN: Creative Ageing Forum We will be celebrating a year of activities and achievements in Leeds and across the UK with host Leeds Care Delivery Services. Details here.

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

Tuesday 17th May 10AM to 11.30AM APPG on Arts Health and Wellbeing: Young People, Co-production, Creativity & Mental Health Services Roundtable An online event to discuss how co-production and creativity with young people can influence mental health service design and delivery. Book your free ticket here.

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd May Dementia Action Week This year's theme is diagnosis.

Tuesday 14th to Monday 20th June International Refugee Week coinciding with 20th June World Refugee DayThis year's theme is healing.

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

Ascendance: Shifting Tides

Filmed in the Yorkshire village of Farsley at Sunny Bank Mills, Shifting Tides is Ascendance's latest dance work starring LAHWN members: Izzy Brittain and Emma Clayton. Ascendance are a local 22-year-old dance company who who work with older people, to promote social interaction and improve health & wellbeing through dance exercise. The mill – situated in the Artistic Director's local community – has become a place of inspiration for a range of professional and community dance works for Ascendance, with choreography drawing on its rich industrial history and regeneration over time. 
Watch the full Shifting Tides film here
...or if you are short on time enjoy a quick trailer 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. 
The local arts project - Dedicated to All the Others - profiled in this edition of our newsletter is accompanied by a podcast called Conversations about creative process. It is a gentle, accessible exploration into how artists & writers create responses to difficult or challenging life stories, including experiences of migration, and experience of violent and sexual crime. Contributors are from theatre, literature & visual arts and from our region and beyond. Listen 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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