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Art to Improve Wellness

Laura Barnes is a cis white female with brown hair. She is smiling at the camera
Laura Barnes
17 November 2023
A woman wearing a yellow bandana and jump suit is working on a the floor with paintbrush and other materials around her.

A new initiative is tackling health and social inequalities across Cornwall. It makes use of the transformative role that arts, culture and creativity can play in wellbeing.

Through the Duchy’s Community Hubs, with funding from Public Health, Arts Well is providing training to support creative practitioners. The training will help build confidence in delivering group sessions at their hubs. Overall, this will improve people’s mental health and resilience within communities.

Community Hubs are central points located throughout the whole county – from St Just to Mullion, Bude to Millbrook.

Arts Well’s first practitioners’ training session is next week. It will highlight the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ based on ‘Connect, Be Active, Notice, Keep Learning, Give’.

Olivia Beckwith, Development Director for Arts Well UK CIC based in Penryn said:

“The outcome of our work through the Community Hubs will be improved health and wellbeing. Doing something creative is a useful resource for daily living and can help to keep us well.”

Through Community Hubs and support for practitioners, Arts Well will create regular activity groups within areas of greatest need.

Cornwall’s suicide rate is significantly higher than both the England and South West average. We also experience high levels of self-harm. This is addressed via People in Mind, as part of the services supporting suicide reduction.

Jayne Howard, Director of Arts Well said, “Our CIC plays a pivotal role in creative health in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Our work with Community Hubs is building on our achievements and provides a range of support to services locally. We advocate for the role of arts, culture and creativity in improving health and wellbeing.”

Emma Wooderson, Operations Director at Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change based at The Elms said:

“We are pleased to be hosting the upcoming training at The Elms. Cornwall is a vibrant, creative county, but some areas have more creative opportunities. Other places lack provision. Opportunities are often provided by freelance practitioners or micro-organisations on the basis of small grants, which often means that the activities are not consistently available or affordable for some. CN4C have creative provision and a member of staff dedicated to creative activity. Arts Well’s support will help add regularity, consistency and deepen the impact on health and wellbeing.”

Charlotte Hill, Director of Community Learning and Wellbeing at Newquay Community Orchard said:

“We are delighted to be working with Arts Well as part of our community hub offer. We are proud that Newquay Orchard is part of the Community Hub network and are looking forward to the training session with Arts Well.”

The activities running with practitioners through the hubs will be open to groups. People can join at any time, open to all. They team will also receive referrals by social prescribers and other community workers.

To find out more about upcoming activities, find a list of community hubs here:

Community Hubs