National news

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:  

GPs cement support for the arts in healthcare

A survey of more than 1,000 GPs, carried out on behalf of social enterprise Aesop, shows that an increasing proportion of GPs believes that taking part in arts activities can prevent ill health and save the NHS money.   

The Arts in Health survey revealed:

Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance appoints a Board Designate

The Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance will become an independent organisation in 2020, and as part of this process it has appointed a Board Designate

Creative ageing sector flourishing but further action needed

Creative ageing activity has expanded significantly over the last decade, but there is a real need to ensure that more marginalised older people have opportunities to be creative

Arts-based research project focuses on children in hospital

Newman University Birmingham has launched ‘RocketArts’, a 3-year arts-based research project for sick and injured children in hospital


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