Creativity and Wellbeing Week, a festival led by London Arts in Health Forum with The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance. The festival has been running for eight years and is going national. Last year around 35k people took part in hundreds of public events for people to learn how the arts and creativity can improve health and wellbeing.
London Arts in Health Forum (LAHF) is a small London based charity, which promotes the ways the arts can improve peoples’ wellbeing and address health inequalities. What we’re finding is that although the arts can be used to respond to specific healthcare needs, we’re also seeing tangible health benefits of visiting museums and libraries, singing with a choir, and reading aloud. Before reaching crisis point, the public can engage with their local services to prevent ill-health and improve their quality of life. The Health Secretary has recently announced an ‘army’ of link workers to support the £4.5 investment towards social prescribing schemes.
This year's Creativity and Wellbeing Week will enable people to take an active role in protecting their health and the health of their families, and that relationships strengthen between arts practitioners and healthcare professionals to make full use of what the arts have to offer.
We would use any money raised to improve access and reach of the festival. Often those who experience the greatest health inequalities are also those least able to access the arts, including those in hospitals and care homes, disabled people, those who are dying, and the 1 in 4 of us who experience mental ill-health. The money would go to promoting the festival to specific audiences who fit into these categories, improving access by improving our digital presence, and also to provide specific outreach to hard to reach groups. We also hope to be able to put on more events if we have funding.
Last year we commissioned artist Ellis Lewis-Dragstra to capture the essence of the week. He produced four beautiful paintings and we will be using these images for our rewards. You can see them above.