Together we are stronger.
In collaboration with the Ideas Alliance and The LENs this award aims to recognise an inspiring project, consortium, collective or movement of people in which meaningful partnership and co-production has improved the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities through culture and creativity.
Boats on an Ocean
This project was a unique collaboration between researchers from Coventry University, producers at China Plate Theatre and a group of artists to create the audio artwork ‘Boats on an Ocean’, funded by ‘Coventry Creates’ (Coventry/ Warwick University). The artwork is a representation of the stories, experiences and emotions shared by healthcare workers (HCWs) from across the UK, gathered during an online creative workshop in June 2020 amid the Covid-19 first wave.
Through the process of sharing stories and hearing them aloud within the artwork, power was devolved to HCW participants: HCWs explained that the project helped them to feel that their voices were being heard and that the artwork was a way for the public to relate to their experiences. Researchers, artists and HCWs learned from one another and developed a sense of commonality - although we are in ‘different boats’, we are all on the same ocean.
Breathe Arts Health Research: NHS Staff Wellbeing Programme
Breathe Arts Health Research (Breathe) design and deliver creative programmes, underpinned by scientific research, to improve health and wellbeing. Our work is co-produced with healthcare staff, patients, artists and scientists to meet specific clinical and health needs.
We’re proud to have supported NHS staff health and wellbeing since our inception in 2012 and with the support of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, 2020 has been no exception. In the face of COVID-19 Breathe immediately transformed our existing NHS Staff Wellbeing offering to an online programme, ensuring improved accessibility. In consultation with NHS staff, Breathe developed a selection of new programmes to meet specific needs that had arisen in response to the pandemic. The success of our approach is demonstrated in an external evaluation, 88% of participants reported a positive impact on wellbeing during COVID-19 and 97% would recommend Breathe’s activities. We believe this represents collective power; we’re stronger together.
Dance On, Yorkshire Dance
Yorkshire Dance is a charity which champions the value of dance and its development in Yorkshire. We create opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to see, make and take part in high quality dance.
We work with dance makers who’d like to change the world, however big or small. We’re passionate about supporting artists who ask questions of themselves, their work and of the world.
It’s important to us to share the power of decision making with others. We support people to develop dance leadership in a number of ways; curating spaces, programmes of work, driving artistic projects, running courses or businesses. We work with communities to empower, shape and deliver dance programmes in their spaces, on their streets and with community partners who know them best. We place collaboration in every aspect of our work, recognising that our best work happens when we share power.
Joy of Sound-Ever New Stories
If... we get it right for disabled people, we can get it right for everyone. Irrespective of gender, ethnicity, age or perceived sagacity... (Mark Jeffrey)
JOS works with people of all abilities as co-creators of effective, popular therapeutic arts and music activities of personal, social and aesthetic significance towards an equitable society of mutual interests and respect.
By regarding every person as a Rosetta Stone, we can learn about ourselves whilst learning about each other. Through our collective creative imagination we can build safe and healthy communities with mutual responsibility, as safe and secure home, and as legacy to future generations.
Through self cultivation we can learn to respect and nourish each other whilst nurturing society's wellbeing and enhancing global culture.
Increased inclusive social awareness encourages the appreciation of human difference, and of natures immense diversity as a sustainable community garden of shared resource, potential and delight.
Maternal Journal is a peer-led movement with over 60 groups worldwide, and a thriving online community who regularly share their work together on social media.
Maternal Journal helps people process the major changes they might be experiencing in pregnancy, birth and beyond by connecting through their creativity and shared maternal and caring experiences. By capturing meaningful thoughts and experiences in their journal people find a positive way to process challenging and as well as joyful moments.
Maternal Journal is anchored in journaling as a radical feminist practice, highlighting the history and collective power of women’s diaries and journaling and ‘making circles’ from the past.
Taking part in a journaling group is an empowering experience. People tell us they feel seen, heard and validated. New parenthood can be isolating and with the added impact of a global pandemic Maternal Journal can be a positive factor in addressing maternal mental health and wellbeing.
Misery is a peer-led collective, created to support the mental health and collective care of our community; queer, transgender & intersex Black & people of colour (QTIBPOC).
Misery draws its strength from creativity, community wisdom/lived experience, and collective power and creates spaces to provide the community with the resources, support, and joy that it deserves.
We champion practices of community care, accessibility, and ancestral modes of healing and are known for hosting sober parties, workshops, performances, healing circles, skill & resource-sharing, and other events centered around harm reduction and therapeutic practices.
Quickly responding to the pandemic, we collaborated with other QTIBPOC mental health practitioners and artists and delivered Misery Meets, a monthly online healing circle followed by a creative workshop designed to support the mental health of QTIBPOC.
Since 2019 we have held 21 free arts and wellbeing events, supporting over 1200 individual members of our community.
Outside Edge Theatre Company
Using drama as a creative outlet, Outside Edge Theatre Company's strength-based approach helps people affected by addiction to build the skills required to lead productive, healthy lives with 97% of participants reporting that we supported their recovery.
During lockdown our participants experienced acute loneliness, boredom and depression, which are triggers for relapse, so we were pleased to see a 40% increase in attendance since moving activities online. Over the past year we have brought people and organisations together to cooperate to achieve the shared goal of improving health and wellbeing in our local Recovery Community through the arts. We have co-produced new activities to address the urgent needs of the people we support, we have partnered with new artists and organisations with lived experience of addiction and we have worked with our existing partners to maintain a safe working environment for our staff and participants.
To allow us to build our capacity, we have strengthened our volunteering offer so that existing participants have more opportunities to contribute to our creative work and support their peers. This led to the co-design of a new Peer-led Check-in group, which is run by volunteers who were recognised by the Mayor of London with a Volunteering Award for their outstanding achievement throughout the pandemic.