Government plans social prescribing academy

A man and a woman dancing
09 Nov 2018

The institution will champion non-drug treatments and create a body of knowledge to support healthcare workers.

Embedding the arts in healthcare

Cartoon image reading 'Let us be your mental dentist'
13 Sep 2018

Clinical psychologist Katherine Taylor explains how Greater Manchester is putting the arts at the heart of its mental health strategy, inspired by Finland’s positive experiences.

Wasted youth

Man holding skateboard
13 Sep 2018

Laura Bailey explains how Kent County Council is aiming to integrate arts and culture into its commissioned services across the board - even in waste management.

Tackling isolation in tower blocks

Photo of people performing to an audience
13 Sep 2018

A project run by the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and a housing provider started with cultural visits and ended with a full-scale theatre production. Inga Hirst tells the story.

Measuring the difference you make

13 Sep 2018

Arts organisations are under growing pressure to demonstrate social impact. Emma Taylor-Collins explains how they can gain robust, high quality evidence to measure their success.

The circus comes to hospital

Photo of drummer and young boy dancing
12 Sep 2018

A circus artist helped older people and children develop their confidence and communicaton skills in workshops at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, writes Emma Gladstone.

Government to boost charities’ role in public services

A male voice choir wearing turquoise jackets
16 Aug 2018

A new Civil Society Strategy accepts that “Government alone cannot solve the complex challenges facing society”.

Doctors supported to prescribe arts through new £4.5m scheme

A choir of people wearing colourful clothes
24 Jul 2018

Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s initiative aims to reach tens of thousands of people across England.

Doctors move closer to unified plan for arts on prescription

Photo of mother and children
04 May 2018

27 healthcare providers in the North West have committed to developing a cultural prescription plan for new and expectant mothers to give children the “best start” in life.

Making the most of time

Photo of musicians rehearsing & laughing
03 Jan 2018

A music-making project within HMP Inverness is helping offenders develop skills for life, learning and work. Stacey Toner describes the challenges and its aims for the future.

Achieving a qualification on the inside

Photo of young man at computer
21 Dec 2017

Young offenders in Wales gained the Arts Award during a Summer Arts College – for some it was their first ever qualification. Angela Rogers tells how their success was realised.

Collaboration is key to cultural commissioning, report finds

Photo of choir singing
15 Dec 2017

Leaders in local authorities and health services have started to recognise the value of arts organisations to their agendas following a series of multi-partner collaborations. 

A challenging but manageable journey

Photo of man wearing mask
14 Dec 2017

Male prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm may be apprehensive about signing up for a theatre project, but some finish Geese Theatre Company’s five-day course giddy with pride. Louise Heywood shares the story.

Making meaningful work – and measuring it

Photo of man breakdancing with people sitting round
14 Dec 2017

Helping prisoners devise and perform a piece of children’s theatre for their families may help reduce re-offending rates, but Selina Busby questions whether the evaluation of such projects is as effective as it should be.

Participatory arts projects empower care home residents

Age Cymru workshop image
06 Dec 2017

A two-year project across 20% of Welsh care homes found statistically significant improvements to wellbeing and staff perceptions of residents.

How can we best measure social value?

Pattern of light
05 Dec 2017

As the arts work their magic in so many mysterious ways, how can their impact be fully understood and measured? Matthew Brown wrestles with the concept of social value.

Healthcare provider to prescribe reading, dancing and singing

A photo of a choir
16 May 2017

Halton CCG’s manifesto for wellbeing commits the organisation to commissioning cultural activity, which it says can support wellbeing in ways that other methods cannot.

Lords propose charity reforms

Interior of the Lords Chamber
13 Apr 2017

Measures for improving governance, social investment and services commissioning by public bodies have been put forward in a report by the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities.

Evaluation framework to guide arts for health and wellbeing

Man looking at art
13 Jan 2017

Public Health England has issued a new publication to help commissioners gather robust evidence of the effectiveness of arts projects.

Sourcing the solid evidence

Photo of woman with an instrument in hospital
13 Oct 2016

Looking to measure the impact of their work in hospitals, Air Arts found that pre-existing evaluation methods didn’t work. Laura Waters describes their bespoke approach.

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