Research

Value of small charities

New research by the Lloyds Bank Foundation identifies the impact that small and local charities have on their communities, especially in tackling social issues like homelessness, domestic abuse or mental ill health. It calls for an overhaul in the way in which public bodies commission services to make it easier for small charities to deliver services.

Young people’s creativity questionnaire

The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education designed to explore how to support young people (from the ages of 0-25) engaging in creativity has launched a survey designed to find out how creativity is applied and valued by arts professionals and in people’s lives.

DCMS Identifies Areas for Research

The Department for Culture has highlighted specific areas where research into the impact of culture is required. These include longitudinal research into the impact of cultural participation on health, research into culture and young people’s mental health and the impact of heritage on health and wellbeing.

Music and Dementia

A small scale study from the University of Utah has identified a level of neurological stimulation which is created when people with a dementia listen to music they like. The researchers conclude that listening to music may lead to “improvements in brain network synchronization”.

Museum Association Wellbeing Focus

The Museum Association has published a range of resources exploring the ways in which museums are exploring health and wellbeing.

It includes sections on volunteering, mental health and youth work with case studies from the UK and internationally.

https://www.museumsassociation.org/museum-practice/wellbeing

New Deal on Research into Arts, Health and Wellbeing

The University of Kent and Arts Council England have signed a shared Memorandum of Understanding agreeing areas of joint working. It has three main aspects including a focus on creativity, health and wellbeing and research into the impact of culture on the health of people in Kent.

Struggling to cope - New Age UK report

Age UK has included the arts in a new checklist of top tips for older people and those around them, on how to avoid mental ill health as they age, and how to get to a better place again if this happens. The checklist was developed in response to a piece of qualitative research into the lives of older people who acknowledged they were struggling with their mental wellbeing.

Commissioning community activity in health

The King’s Fund has published research into the attitudes of health commissioners working with voluntary and community organisations.

The research shows wide variation in the attitudes of commissioners and points to increased challenges in developing co-production between health commissioners and the community sector.

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/commissioner-perspectives-voluntary-community-social-enterprise-sector

Benefits of the arts

American think tank Createquity has collated and reviewed research into the health benefits of the arts. The organisation has come up with a list of areas where they identify the evidence for the impact of the arts on wellbeing is strong.

The review of research into arts and wellbeing focuses on the benefits of the arts on a range of different wellbeing impact areas: physical and mental health, education and personal development, economic vitality, and social cohesion. The researchers are highly confident that:

Research shows importance of quality in creative engagement

Creative Scotland has published new research into the impact of taking part in creative programmes on young people. It demonstrates that the most effective projects are those where young people are “there to do and make something creative and if there are other benefits that is a bonus. The programmes will not be successful if the participants feel that they are getting ‘youth work by the back door’.”

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