National news

ACE publishes coronavirus emergency funding guidance

After launching its emergency response funding package last month in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Arts Council England (ACE) has published guidance on the funds open to individuals and organisations outside of the National Portfolio. Details on the £90 million fund ACE is making available for NPOs as part of the emergency response package will also be shared soon.

Further information can be found here


Can real life recovery stories help with your own mental health?

The NEON Collection is the world’s largest collection of real-life mental health recovery stories. Researchers from the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham are running a trial looking at the benefits of accessing other people’s recovery stories. Participants will have online access to the world’s largest collection of recovery stories for up to one year. If you’d like to take part you can find more information here. Everything is online, and there is no face-to-face contact.


The Big Draw announces festival's 20th anniversary theme

Visual literacy charity The Big Draw has announced that its annual festival of creativity will be based around the theme Climate of Change and will be called The Big Green Draw Festival. Marking its 20th anniversary, the festival will focus on the relationship between people and our living environments and ecosystems; highlighting how we live today and the ways in which we do and do not harmonise with nature.

Depression and anxiety impact engagement in participatory arts activities

Daisy Fancourt, Louise Baxter and Fabiana Lorencatto have published a study that suggests individuals with poor mental health encounter certain barriers to engagement in participatory arts activities that are not felt as strongly by those without any mental health problems.

The analysis, based on a behaviour change framework, recognised that factors commonly associated with depression and anxiety, including low self-esteem, socio-economic burden and poor physical health can impact engagement with such pursuits.

Call to contribute to study on AHRC future research priorities

Prof Helen Chatterjee and Dr Linda Thomson of UCL and Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt of Kings College London are conducting research on behalf of the Arts and Humanities Research Council regarding future research priorities about inequalities across the UK. The aim of the research is  to understand more about regional disparities across arts, culture, health, the outdoors and other community-based research, social prescribing and other areas of public health research.

International Social Prescribing Day takes place on 12 March

The importance and significance of social prescribing within healthcare will be celebrated on 12 March. Working in partnership with GPs, community groups, voluntary organisations, medical schools, academics, and students across the UK and world, the Social Prescribing Network is hosting a programme of events and activities aims to engage people of all ages.

Foundation releases report on diversity and creative ageing

A new publication by the Baring Foundation celebrates a selection of projects that have brought arts and creativity to under-served older communities.

Over the course of ten years of funding the creative ageing sector, the foundation has sought to make the Arts and Older People programme as inclusive as possible. The report recognises that providing for the full diversity of the older population is unfinished business and a future challenge for the creative ageing sector and more widely arts and culture organisations, funders and policy-makers.

Booklist launched to support children’s mental health and wellbeing

UK charity The Reading Agency and Libraries Connected have launched a new children’s mental health scheme as part of their Reading Well programme. The Reading Well for children booklist has been created in response to concerning data about children’s mental health in the UK.

Report calls for new frameworks for therapeutic writing

A study into words for wellbeing has concluded that practitioners need new structures for training and supervision in order to work with vulnerable people. The two-year study, commissioned by Lapidus International, suggests that training opportunities are needed in the areas of safety, safeguarding and supervision.

Dementia arts is not reaching South Asian communities

Research by theatre company Spare Tyre has revealed that while there is growing awareness of the value of artistic activity for people living with dementia, this activity has not reached the UK’s South Asian communities in a significant way.  

The report Art and dementia in the UK South Asian Diaspora was written by Elizabeth Lynch MBE with Spare Tyre, and funded and published by the Baring Foundation.  

Key findings and recommendations from the research include:  


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