Arts and Health

Culture: Living Well Resources pages We have compiled the following list of information resources that might be of interest to you: (first produced by the Torbay Culture Forum)

A commissioning toolkit for arts and culture organisations that has been launched last month (June 2015) in Kent, but is available for organisations around the country to use. It is a promising resource to help cultural organisations to test if commissioning is for them, and if they are commissioning ready.    

 Torbay Health and Wellbeing Strategy

This Strategy sets out how the Health and Wellbeing Board will encourage organisations in Torbay will work together to meet the needs the community. It explains what the health and wellbeing priorities are in Torbay and how joint action will be taken to make a real impact on people’s lives. It provides the framework for action: promoting prevention, early intervention and targeted support.   

Commons Health Select Committee

The Health Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of the Department of Health and its associated bodies. Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes Constituency (includes Brixham, Totnes, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge) is the current chair of this select committee. 

The Kings Fund

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.

Culture, Health and Wellbeing All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing Peers and MPs with a shared interest in the field of arts and health come together for regular events to hear about and discuss the latest developments relevant to current policy priorities. Minutes from meetings are available via the website 

Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA)

The Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA) exclusively represents senior strategic leaders managing public sector cultural, tourism and sport services. It works closely with central government and key national organisations to influence the development of national policies and to lobby for positive change in the cultural and leisure sectors. It is also a founder and leading member of the National Culture Forum.  

Health and Wellbeing Guidance

In recognition of the vital role culture and leisure play in improving the health and wellbeing of local communities, cCLOA have published a guidance document that aims to help commissioners and providers of culture and leisure services in England understand and engage more effectively and collaboratively with this key agenda. The URL provided links to the guidance document but also to case studies of culture, health and wellbeing projects. 

Professor John Ashton essay

'Let's invest in real health 'in Create, A journal of perspectives on the value of Arts and Culture; Arts Council England Nov 2014 pp89 -96 The essay 'Let's invest in real health' written by former President of the Faculty of Public Health, Professor John Ashton. "The arts must be an explicit part of a healthy society". 

'Culture: Living Well',

 The Arts & Health SW resources webpages include links to case studies, fact sheets, reports, policy documents, toolkits and guides, media and publications as well as information about practicing artists and arts organisations.

Arts For Health Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (Arts and older people in Care)

Our projects are led by trained and experienced creative practitioners who share their art-forms with all sorts of people to positively impact on their lives helping more people to be happier and healthier through getting creative. Recent projects include 'Celebrating Age and Ambition', 'Reading Allowed', 'Art of Money Skills'. See the website for example projects.

Pavilion Dance South West

Pavilion Dance South West is the national dance development organisation for the region and an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation. They support dance strategy across the South West and their vision is of a world where everyone has the chance to be happier and healthier by experiencing dance and dancing. The Breathe strand of their dance development programme focuses on this area and brings together regional dance partners and arts and health organisations to set strategy and discuss issues through the Breathe Action Group.  

AESOP Arts Enterprise with Social Purpose

AESOPS core programme is a pipeline of ‘aesops’, arts enterprises with a social purpose, created to deliver artistic and social impact, grow and be taken to scale; linking with major institutions facing challenges which arts enterprises may help to address; developing an AESOP Toolbox to help arts and social organisations; exchanging knowledge through sharing best practice, offering training, consultancies and publications, developing public engagement and advocating changes in practice and policy. The 'Dance to Health' project responds to the issue of older people’s falls and challenges faced by current falls prevention services.

Time to Change

Funded Projects Engagement projects, funded by 'Time to Change' in order to promote conversations about mental health are listed on the Time to Change website. In the South West, this included printmaking projects by Exeter's Double Elephant Print Workshop, the 2BME project with was a youth led project that targetted stigma among Bristol's Somali and African Caribbean communities in which young people with lived experience of mental health problems (either as a service user or carer) worked together to design a workshop and interactive materials (film, poetry, photography) to take out on tour across the city. Summarys of all other funded projects in the South West and across the UK are featured on the website. 

Music for Health Research Centre

The main objective of the Music for Health Research centre is to initiate and undertake qualitative and quantitative based research enquiry in the broadly based fields of music therapy, music and health, and music for human wellbeing. The role of music in society is fundamental to the research activities of the centre, complementing current and future government initiatives to enhance the role of music in education, health and the community _health_research_centre.html


The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation Lapidus provides networks and information for people interested in writing and creativity for personal development and in working with others

 The good effect on wellbeing was found to be the same or more than doing other activities, including sports, and visiting historic towns and buildings has the greatest impact.

Libraries Reading Well Books on Prescription Supported by Torbay Libraries: a fantastic new initiative to help people understand and manage health and well-being, and that of others, by using self-help reading.

The Reading Agency: News The role of libraries in helping to improve the health and well-being of local people.

 Fitness in Torbay

In Torbay the G.P. Referral scheme has been set up to increase the number of adults participating in regular moderate intensity exercise or activity as part of a planned preventative and/or rehabilitation programme, as a prescribed treatment from their local G.P. Physical activity has been proven to have a positive effect on health and fitness. In addition there is evidence to show that physical activity can help reverse or have a significant impact on medical conditions or ailments that you may suffer from. This can lead to reduction in medication, fewer visits to the doctor, and a huge improvement in your well being.

Fitness in Torbay Exercise Provider Information Booklet PDF booklet outlining programmes offered by Leisure Centres participating in 'Fitness in Torbay'. 

Active Devon

Active Devon is the County Sports Partnership (CSP) for Devon. We are part of a network of 49 CSPs across England. Our central office is at the Sports Park at the University of Exeter and we also have teams who work from the Life Centre in Plymouth and at one of our partner offices in Torbay. Projects in Torbay include 'Active Mums' Environment Walking for Health. Torbay: Bay Walks Walk your way to better health and discover the stunning landscape Torbay has to offer. It's fun and sociable to walk with others, and in the process you will discover interesting and beautiful parts of the Bay, enjoy the view... and feel healthier!

Promoting wellbeing through environment: the role of urban forestry This paper explores the existing research and theory on the value of nature in the built environment for the wellbeing of city-dwellers, focusing on the role of urban forestry. It also raises questions about what we still have to learn about these less tangible benefits of urban trees and woodlands.$file/Trees-people-and-the-buitenvironment_Gilchrist.pdf

 Health and the Natural Environment

A Natural England resources page, linking to articles and reports including 'A sense of freedom: the experiences of disabled people in the natural environment', ' Green Exercise Programme Evaluation' and 'An evaluation of the Walking for Wellness project and the befriender role', 'Outdoors for All' case studies, amongst many more

 Play England

Resources Play England are a leading publisher of play news, information and research. Their website holds a rich resource of play activities, policy documents and research.

Play and health

Making the links Play is crucial to children's healthy development and happiness. This policy briefing for health improvement specialists, primary care teams and healthy schools. coordinators, provides information on why play is crucial to children's health and explores possibilities for joint working between the health and play sectors.

Play Torbay

Our aim is to improve the quality and quantity of play provision for children and young people living in Torbay and raise awareness about the importance of play in children’s lives. Play Torbay activities include the FUNk project in which young people 'meet and make' - 'meet' to help initiate and run projects for young people in the area, then participate in a wide range of creative activities during the 'make' session.

The Voluntary Sector

South West Forum South West Forum supports voluntary groups to be better at doing what they want to do. But we also work with local authorities, health agencies, universities and other public bodies as well as businesses to help them build strong relationships and partnerships with voluntary and community groups.Membership is free and open to voluntary and social purpose organisations operating in the South West.