LAHF Newsletter – 21 March 2018

This is a special, one-off newsletter to let you know all about developments for LAHF, for this newsletter and for arts and health nationally. With so much happening for arts and health, there is lots to share about developments in London and nationally.

Alliance Launch

Last week the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance launched in Birmingham. This is a new, national organisation representing everyone who believes that cultural engagement and participation can transform our health and wellbeing. The Alliance is the result of the merger of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing with the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing. It is free to join, you can just sign up here and, in less than a week, more than 1,000 people already have! The Alliance involves 50 leading organisations working in this area and is the result of years of hard work by a lot of people. We are grateful to Arts Council England for the support for this work, the new Alliance will be a Sector Support Organisation and part of Arts Council’s national portfolio for the next four years. It will be advocating for arts and museums’ role in health and wellbeing, sharing best practice, supporting regional networking and training and will provide the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing.

Recruiting: Director for Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance

Not everything can happen immediately but sign up to get news and developments as things progress. The first thing the Alliance is going to do is recruit a Director to lead this work and oversee the establishment of this new organisation as an independent charity over the next four years. There is still time to apply for this senior position - the deadline is 25 March 2018.

New Policy briefing - sign up

The launch of the new Alliance marks a key moment for London Arts in Health Forum. For the past six years we have steered the development of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and supported the establishment of the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing. Our work will continue, most notably we will be providing a new monthly briefing paper for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance - this will include policy developments, funding news and national perspectives on the relationship between health and the arts. The first of these briefings will be sent in April - to make sure you get yours, sign up to the new Alliance here.

New LAHF Newsletter - call for submissions

We are taking the opportunity to change the LAHF newsletter too - so, from next month, our newsletter will also become monthly and will be more focused on London news. We want to hear from you about events, opportunities, developments and local stories. We will also be expanding the LAHF blog and are keen to hear from you if you would like to contribute. Perhaps there is an aspect of creativity and health that you think is under-explored, or a problem that you think needs addressing. If so, get in touch and let us know!

Creativity and Wellbeing - deadline next week

In the meantime, our energy is focused on this year’s Creativity and Wellbeing Festival from 4-10 June 2018. There are already dozens of events listed on the website and more being added every day. The deadline for including events in the festival brochure is next week - 29 March 2018. Our core programme of events along with all the other activity in the week will be shared in April. Already we are on course for the week to be bigger than ever with an estimated audience last year of 35,000 people at hundreds of events!

New training for clinicians

LAHF is also planning two more training evenings for clinicians interested in the role the arts can play in supporting their practice. The evening introductory course for doctors, allied health professionals and nurses looks at historical perspectives on health and wellbeing in different cultures, examines key evidence for the impact of arts and culture participation, builds understanding of methods of evaluating arts and health practice, and looks at specific case studies in hospitals and the community. The training is conducted in partnership with University College London and is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians. The next dates for training sessions are 19 April 2018 and 21 June 2018 in London.

Strength in Networks

Finally, we wanted to let people know about a project we have been working on with partners in Liverpool supported by Dementia Connect. This has been to develop a new arts-based tool for people to use when they receive a diagnosis of dementia. As part of this work we have collaborated with the researcher Frances Williams who has looked at arts projects targeting the period immediately after a dementia diagnosis. This under-developed area of arts and health practice has revealed some interesting learning and challenges in delivery and the research identifies opportunities for improving practice. The research has now been published here.

In this period of transition for the newsletter please send anything for this newsletter or for the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance briefing to Please note this email address is only checked weekly; for any urgent enquiries please use We always welcome input and feedback so please feel free to email us at