Be more involved with CHWA in the West Midlands

CreateSpace arts for wellbeing project, Birmingham Museums Trust/Creative Health CIC/Rita Patel
CreateSpace arts for wellbeing project, Birmingham Museums Trust/Creative Health CIC/Rita Patel

Are you based in the West Midlands region?

Are you passionate about culture/health/wellbeing and ready for a new challenge?

Do you want to be part of developing regional and national networks to support the culture/health and wellbeing sector?

Become a West Midlands CHWA Steering Group member, or stand to be a CHWA Regional Champion for the West Midlands.

After a very busy and successful few years developing the alliance’s formative work in the West Midlands, the CHWA Regional Champions, Kate Gant and Rosie Barker, are stepping down.

Firstly, we would like to share our gratitude for Kate and Rosie’s commitment, knowledge and passion. They have worked tirelessly to build the first CHWA regional steering group in the country, recognising that to be fully representative at a national level they needed to create a mechanism to connect with the vast geography and breadth of diverse practice happening in the West Midlands.

For more information about the work of the champions and steering group, read the story so far below.

Please note that both roles are on a voluntary basis and the initial term is for 2 years, starting this Summer.

We are particularly interested in applications from people who identify with one or more of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equalities Act 2010, as well as socioeconomic status.

Stand to be a CHWA Regional Champion for the West Midlands

We are looking for one regional champion with an arts background and one with a museums background.

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a national sector support organisation that represents everyone who believes that creative and culture participation can transform the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

The work of the Alliance is steered by a group of Regional Champions from each of the nine UK regions. As we are faced with more and more global challenges, from health inequalities to climate change, the role of regional and local activity is increasingly vital. We are looking for candidates who share this belief and have passion, commitment, and existing regional networks that can support this collective endeavour.

The nominated Regional Champions will be joining LENS champions from the region, bringing together representation and expertise from across museums, arts and lived experience. Working together, the champions will share information from the region with the national steering groups and vice versa, and collaborate to respond to the needs of the sector within the region

Click here to find out more about the role and responsibilities of the CHWA Regional Champions in the West Midlands.

This is a voluntary role. Travel expenses to attend national steering group meetings will be met by the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance. The initial term for this role is two years.

Applications are open from Friday 8- 29 May 2020. The election process will take place between 2 and 11 June. Our aim is to appoint the Regional Champions by mid-June 2020. 

Become a member of the CHWA West Midlands Steering Group

Are you based in the West Midlands and committed to culture/health and wellbeing? Do you want to be more involved in shaping the regional strategy and work of the alliance?

Click here to find out more about the role and responsibilities of being a steering group member.

Please note that the optimum steering group size is 12-15 people. If we receive a large amount of applications, the appointed CHWA Regional Champions will work to build a group that is as representative as the breadth of experiences, practices and localities from the region as possible.

Applications are open from Friday 8- 29 May, 2020.  Our aim is to appoint the Regional Champions by the 12th of June. We will endeavour to confirm the steering group by the end of June 2020. 

Important Dates and Information for Applicants

  • To apply for either role, you must be signed up as an alliance member. If you aren’t already a member, please join here
  • If you would like to apply for both roles, please complete the Champion application form and select the box to be considered for steering group member.
  • Applications are open from Friday 8 May - Friday 29 May for both roles.
  • The election process for the Regional Champion roles will run from 2 June to 11 June at 12noon. (Information about all candidates and the online polling system will be sent to the West Midlands regional members mailing list).
  • We anticipate that elected candidates will be contacted by Friday 12 June and invited to attend the national CHWA Steering Group meeting on Tuesday 16 June, via Zoom. If you are applying for the Regional Champion role, please pencil this date in your diary.
  • After the election of the regional champions, regional steering group members will be confirmed by the end of June 2020.

If you have any questions about the roles or the process, or require the application forms in an alternative format, please contact the alliance at

The Story so far...

Here is a short insight of what Kate and Rosie have achieved in their time as champions and what’s ahead, starting with their rationale for setting up the regional steering group

The West Midlands has a history and a strong track record of leading work in this sector. We wanted to make sure that we valued this and involved as many people as we could from the start. In our first few meetings with others we were also quick to dive into the bigger questions, and challenge our approach – exploring who wasn’t in the room and why, and how we could connect with other networks and communities to make sure that our voice was representative and true to the area. Our ongoing work to develop a more diverse and representative group is a key priority for the group.

Practitioner wellbeing and social prescribing were also identified as key areas by the fledging steering group. With a commitment to building strategic, meaningful partnerships and mobilising the expertise and energy of the steering group, we have achieved some progress against these priority areas. An example of this is a sell-out symposium with BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health Festival 2019, which explored practical ways that cultural organisations can embed wellbeing in their own practice and included a talk from artist/researcher Nicola Naismith, author of Artists Practising Well . The regional champions are also invited to regional Social Prescribing Network meetings suggesting both their influence and the scope for future collaboration in developing social prescribing within the region.

Alongside existing relationships, Rosie and Kate also highlighted connections into large, international cultural moments planned for the region in the coming years, including Coventry City of Culture 2021 and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Both with strong health and wellbeing programmes, these events provide opportunities for the champions and steering group to draw focus to the culture, health and wellbeing agenda, create opportunities to link into/invest in the regional offer and raise awareness of the benefits to the wider public.  

Taking into account the history, live connections and future possibilities, there is plenty for the CHWA to support, advocate for and grow in the region.

Convening and building infrastructure regionally has been crucial to support the sector’s health and strengthen the collective voice and power of the alliance at a national level. Victoria Hume, Executive Director of CHWA explains,

The alliance is founded on its regional networks – we exist to connect the realities of practice on the ground with policy making, research and advocacy, and to support partnership work at both a local and a national level. The regional networks create a space where our voices can come together in a community of practice.