A Day in the Life

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Amarno Inai
Amarno Inai
" I never put labels on it...whenever I felt bad, or good, I would draw."
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a composite image showing a laptop, a postcard being putin a letterbox, and Loreto with half her face obscured by a yellow balloon
I have been in art and wellbeing practice for a long time. Often my work has elements that hope to bring to discussing wellbeing. But to be more precise I was part of a network meeting at Fiztwilliam Museum Cambridge in 2017, organised by Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance, where I leant about the work that has been done in the East region and got to meet locals who were interested and/or working already in the health and art sector.
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Dr Sidrah Muntah performing
Dr Sidrah Muntah. Photo: Salam Jones
Although trained as a clinical psychologist, I became interested in the therapeutic value of music a few years ago when I began learning indian raga singing. This is a very meditative spiritual style of singing requiring use of breathing control, focus on keeping the voice steady and being grounded within oneself.
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portrait of Tom George
My current path began in 2013 when I started to started to explore mindfulness and related spiritual approaches to mental health, and since then my creative output has gradually shifted towards creating things that are nurturing and healing in intention. I began running writing workshops incorporating mindfulness, plus regular meditation sessions. I have since worked with lots of organisations who share this ethos, helping people in the community to nurture their wellbeing through creativity, spirituality and generally coming together.
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Self portrait in gouache and fine liner- Ali Bird
Self Portrait, Ali Bird
Working alongside NHS colleagues was enlightening... It instilled in me a desire to take the skills and knowledge I had acquired and use them more widely. This is what I love to do-to encourage people to discover their creativity and the benefits to wellbeing that accompany it.
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Natasha Trotman
Days can range from turbo-charged crafting session, to Makaton-fuelled sensory stories, to coding Raspberry Pis for digital interactions and engagements, to writing a research paper ...My work is broad and varied. I recall a Ted Talk by Emilie Wapnick on the term she coined – ‘multipotentialite’. This comes close to explaining my interests, skill-set and approach.
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A group of teenagers seated on the floor during a workshop run by Claire Newton
Photo by Rich Kenworthy
I do find when I work from home it’s easy to just keep going until you’re exhausted but I make sure I have breaks where I might just sit in the garden with a cup of tea for 5 minutes, do some yoga at lunchtime or go for a long walk at the end of the day to switch off.
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Picture of Sally Middleton
Sally Middleton
The experiences in libraries, as well as my training in social work, convinced me that culture and the arts could potentially help many more people than traditional social work. I am committed to gathering together even more of an evidence base to prove the link between well-being and participation in heritage and culture.
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Two children cooking at Norfolk libraries
Kiddy Cook event, Norfolk libraries
Part of my role is ...supporting libraries so they can deliver health and wellbeing activities, ranging from regular groups such as colour me calm, to one off activities like wellbeing days with the library smoothie bike!
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one of Jennie's works of art: Home of the microbes  / Small Planet, children's drawings, vegatable papyrus, waxed paper and recycled perspex, by Jennie Pedley. Part of Art of the Gut residency at the Quadram Institute, supported by public funding from the Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council #artofthegut
Small Planet, children's drawings, vegatable papyrus, waxed paper and recycled perspex, by Jennie Pedley. Part of Art of the Gut residency at the Quadram Institute, supported by public funding from the Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council #artofthegut
My days are spent experimenting with visuals in the studio and exploring scientific/health research ... A few days each term I work as a physiotherapist at a school for Deaf children in London. I also support a young person in my family who recently developed a couple of autoimmune diseases.
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A portrait of Deborah Munt
Ellie Grace Photography
My work is very varied. I love devising...spotting gaps and devising responses...so I tend have one foot in practice and another in strategic development and advocacy, which of course always needs doing. As my friend likes to say...’the fight is real’.
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A portrait of Thanh Sinden
Ellie Grace Photography
As chair of Museum Detox, a network for BAME museum and heritage workers I am particularly interested in looking at wellbeing through building resilience especially for people with additional emotional labour through the intersectional identities they have.
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A portrait of Esme Ward
Ellie Grace Photography
Not sure a typical day exists, no two days are the same and that’s just how I like it! There is always a lot on - mix of supporting, mobilising and connecting with people and always the challenging of balancing inside the building and outside the museum work.
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A portrait of Ben Pearce
Ellie Grace Photography
My work and career has always had an intersection between something creative and something broadly around delivering social policy outcomes – e.g. heritage and participation; the built environment and community-led regeneration; artistic learning, and of course more recently, the visual arts and wellbeing.
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A picture of Rosie Dow
Ellie Grace Photography
One day I will be setting out chairs and making tea in a hospital for a singing for breathing group, the next I’ll be at an NHS research committee approving a physio dance project, then I’ll be at Soho House meeting a potential donor for lunch. Then back to the chairs again.
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Photograph of Evelyn Wilson
It’s so important to raise our heads above the parapet when we can, to get a sense of things afresh. I do this is by going to talks or symposia on subjects I know little about but take a broader interest in. This for me can be enriching beyond words and I’m excited as today is one of those days.
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Ian Solomon- Kawall at May Project Gardens
Ian Solomon- Kawall, May Project Gardens
I have been doing this (May Project Gardens) for 12 years and I'm always inspired by the transformative nature of the work we do with people and organisations.
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Pete Eliot directing a film
Pete Eliot
"Through the making of Instrumental Health, I interviewed so many inspiring people. It really was a massively important experience for me personally as I learnt more about myself and the mental health issues I’ve struggled with in silence for so many years."   What have you been doing today?
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Community is everything! Barbara Bloomfield and Mary Everett (centre and right) lead a Growing Bolder group in Bristol for people over 55 who want to challenge isolation.
Barbara Bloomfield
" I’ve been a counsellor and counselling supervisor for 25 years and in the last decade I’ve moved much more into the world of expressive arts as i think creative expression is so helpful for wellbeing and resilience."
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Rebecca Hearne out on an archaeology trip
Rebecca Hearne
" My PhD is about using archaeology as a form of therapy for people who are living with trauma — I’ve seen first-hand how useful and life-changing it can be, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else."
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Catsou Roberts on a video screen as part of Julia Scher's project for Frieze
Catsou Roberts on a video screen as part of Julia Scher's project for Frieze
"...the life blood of what we do--the arts that we bring to Barts Health--propels me to visit artists’ studio as well as meetings with potential cultural partners. 
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James Dey performing
Flashpop Images
"I’ve always had an interest in how music can inspire, encourage, console and restore people."
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Helen Stewart storytelling at Tatton Park
" My fellow Storyteller and I went into Manchester Children’s hospital to tell stories and were inspired by the courage of the children and dedication of the staff."
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Steven Skelley holding a tin from the Barnsley Canister Company
Barnsley Museums
" Museums do a huge amount of work in health and wellbeing; it is largely about reflecting and telling stories which has an incredibly powerful effect on people."
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Kavina Pound, a biodanza teacher
" I have been working as a Biodanza Teacher since 2011. Most of the work I do with people who are elderly or have disabilities and / or medical conditions."
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Tim Osborn
Tim Osborn
"It can be an amazing learning experience from so many perspectives."
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Frances Chiverton at the Beaney Gallery & Museum
Frances Chiverton
"I started working at The Beaney 6 months ago as the Health and Wellbeing Coordinator. But, I would consider that I first started working in a role that involves working with culture, health and wellbeing when I became a Primary School teacher in 1998 - 21 years ago."
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Angela Awuah
Angela Awuah
“I saw no platform for young people with direct and indirect experience for mental illness, so I created one.”
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A photo of some people walking towards Barnsley Station with art
Hayley Youell
"I started working within the field back in 2008, but it has always been central to thinking as a creative, linking with my innate curiosity about how the arts and culture, particularly music and singing, can transform peoples’ health and lives."