Monday, 12 October 2015

…a small scale global phenomenon

Last Wednesday the 7th October, I welcomed 120 people to the latest North West Arts and Health Network event in collaboration with the Manchester School of Art, Arts & Health Research Network. As guests from around the region and further afield arrived, the dulcet sounds of Caretaker and An Empty Bliss Beyond this World lulled us into feelings of great expectations for the day ahead, its hypnotic, repetitive and fractured melodies, setting the scene for the planned breakaways around dementia and the arts and mental health and the arts.

The day began with a short section of an interview I'd made with Mike White from the Centre for Medical Humanities, and who died earlier this year. In part, this was a gentle homage to the man, but it also helped set the tone and themes for the day. I’d asked Mike - what was the value of gathering people from different communities and cultures together on occasions like this. This is what he replied.

I spent a little time extending this idea of our shared interests, and our common ground and posited the notion - like all those movements that had deep roots in Manchester from Suffrage to the Kinder Trespass, by way of the Arts and Health movement - that we are in fact - a Social Movement. Embracing something of the feeling in the air generated by the groundswell of grassroots support and active action around the Labour Party leadership elections, I shared a reading of the Recoverist Manifesto, which (I hope) illustrated perfectly, the synergy between the arts - and people who may be disconnected to arts/culture - and proactive change. The leap from passively accepting the stigma, labels and demonisation propagated by the media - from benign recovery - to passionate Recoverism.

Most of our regional events spend time in deep discussion, but this event was different, afterall, we had guests from Japan, Finland and our first speakers from Lithuania who shared their stories of empowerment through the arts, illustrated beautifully through their work with people with physical and intellectual differences. Whilst arts/health is a new phenomena in Lithuania, Ieva and Simona shared their expanding research and practice in dementia care and mental health. Their work in understanding the impact of cultural interventions on the wellbeing and health of clinical staff, is breaking new ground.

From Helsinki in Finland, Kirsi Lajunen of the Arts Promotion Centre shared the findings of her counties long-term strategic work in arts and health development. Her work is best summarised by the belief that:‘Art questions, seeks and creates meanings. Art belongs to everyone. This is why we support artistic expression.’

From Osaka, Japan the artist, Yutaka Moriguchi and 11 colleagues from design, medical and cultural sectors shared activity and research currently taking place in their country. Largely focused in clinical settings, this work, alongside that taking place in Finland and Lithuania gave all of us present a strong feeling of affinity and camaraderie. We are not alone - our drive towards a more cultural engaged, fairer and more connected society is a shared one. There may be cultural nuances, but our vision and passion are shared and increasingly understood by policy makers. This would be something we returned to later in the day.

At this point, I have to say a huge thanks to all of you who made our visitors so, so welcome on their visits to your place of work. You made their time here rich and incredibly rewarding. Thank you.

Following lunch, the day split into two loosely themed areas around our mental health and wellbeing and dementia. This was planned in simple response to those of you who wanted to share your practice and research. Thank you Tom Macan, Miriam Avery, Alison Bowry, Sheila Gleadhill, Rachel Radford, Sarah Greaves, Carol Hanson, Jeni McConnell, Sarah Lawton, Stacey Coughlin, Kathryn West, Tom Jefferies, Kate Bevan, Luz Loguercio, Helen Felcey and Kat Taylor. These breakaways were enthusiastically received and really make events like this. 
Superb and thank you again.

So, our last period of time together, was probably the most important part of the day. The conversation. The starting point was simple - we’d developed our Manifesto for Arts & Health - we’d revisited again in February at Chaos & Comfort and now - considering our feelings of solidarity - it seemed right to begin to go a little deeper.

...and low - it came to pass, that Greater Manchester began to consider how this arts and health movement might connect more explicitly to public health within the devolution agenda that is taking place across its 10 districts. If ever there was a time to consider our place within this emerging work, now seems the time. I’d had a strategic conversation with people involved in the process and wanted to explore these ideas and possibilities with those activists on the ground in research and practice.

“...if we had the opportunity to influence cultural change in a public health agenda across Greater Manchester as part of devolution, what would our offer be?”

So, grouped around tables, we shared ideas and threw some thoughts into the pot. Here’s a little of what we discussed. 

A key critical issue would be that to integrate the arts and culture more formally to the devolution and public health agenda, they would need to be understood in terms of existing and emerging priorities of public health across Greater Manchester. Linking the arts would need to be meaningful and well thought through, not a smoke screen for simply glossing over systemic issues, and avoiding the social determinants of health - or in the worst case, a cost-cutting exercise. It was suggested that the work needs to be about investing in the arts and not‘volunteerism’.

Whilst biennial style festivals and celebratory events were seen by some as potentially positive vehicles for promoting health, efficacy of impact beyond the feel-good factor has to be thought through. Perhaps multi-site festivals across GM taking place in GP’s, libraries, schools, hospitals, voluntary sector and cultural venues/institutions. 

The work should be about increasing the visibility of the arts and their potency, and communicating cultural value. A discussion about evidence and research ensued. Do we really want to understand the impact of the arts on public health in the language of scientism and reductionism? How can we understand cultural value through rich mixed methodologies? We should encourage input and comment on the government’s consultation on its new White Paper; The Places Challenge. We also note that Public Health England includes the arts within it’s new publication to tackle health inequalities. Click HERE for more details.

Key factors around the education and training of health and social care professionals emerged across the majority of participants tables, as did an emphasis on the use of community spaces with multiple uses and actors. This has been highlighted nationally by organisations like the Bromley by Bow Centre and BlueSCI and the reimagining of mainstream cultural organisations.
Loneliness emerged as a key health theme - not specifically confined to older, isolated people, but stretching across the generations. Perhaps this was an opportunity to explore some of the longer-term negative consequences of social media, as opposed to the much lauded positive consequences. Across all participants tables extensive notes were made on:
The everyday participation in the arts of people who feel excluded or distanced by them
The word INCLUSIVITY was repeated across all tables
That we should CONSULT with artists and through creative methodologies
We should gather EVIDENCE in all we do
The focus of much of our work is PROCESS over outcome 
We should work with the LONG-TERM in mind moving beyond short term investment
We should think GENERATIONALLY about cultural change
We want TRANSPARENCY in cultural and health strategic planning
We want to SHARE the EVIDENCE and have it freely available
Health Visitors and Early Years Nurses are seen as POWERFUL ALLIES
RESEARCH ARTISTS placed in community and clinical settings could bring new understanding to complex problems
We are an explicit SOCIAL MOVEMENT that could affect change in public health and social change across Greater Manchester
Questions that were left in the air include:
How do we share our research and practice with health professionals?
How can artists become (as appropriate) part of a multi-disciplinary team?

Where to now? 
Well, I’ll report back on that very soon...

For now, again, just big thanks to all of you who got involved and to all of you who made time to share your work with Ieva, Simona, Kirsi and Yutaka and all her colleagues from Japan. You made me very proud to be part of our North West Region!

Are you aware of ongoing research and/or evaluation of arts based work with nurses and other clinical staff that aims to improve the wellbeing of staff and which isn’t focused on how they work creatively with patients? So all about the health and wellbeing of the workforce. I’d be really grateful of links to any projects, research or evaluation. Email HERE. Many thanks. 

…and whilst we have nurses in mind, the brilliant PRN online magazine has a feature by the A&E nurse, David Flecknoe about his training as a Speciality Registrar in Public Health. Excellent and click on the image below to read it.

DCMS White Paper Consultation
The Government has begun a consultation exercise in the run-up to the publication of a White Paper for the Arts. The Places Challenge invites the public to “share and discuss your ideas on how culture and heritage can shape vibrant healthy communities across the country”. Click HERE to register and comment. 

Whilst the government consults on the arts, another campaign has been launched to persuade MP’s to support public investment in the arts. The What Next? initiative, a campaign bringing together cultural leaders, includes an information pack available online with guidance on how to make a case for the arts. Supporters are also being asked to promote the campaign on social media. The move comes as the government prepares its comprehensive spending review in November, which is expected to mean a cut of up to 40% across most government departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Source: AI)

Arts as a resource for tackling health inequalities
Public Health England has published a series of resources to help local authorities address health inequalities. The guidance and resources, which include a series of written and video stories to encourage local action on health inequalities, emphasise that the creative arts can “help individuals build and maintain social connections and can be beneficial for health and wellbeing.” Click HERE. 

42nd Street, a Manchester-based mental health charity working with young people under stress, has today received £516,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with further support from LandAid and the Redevco Foundation to enable the opening of its new venue, The Horsfall, in May 2016. The Horsfall builds on 42nd Street’s trusted and innovative approach to improving young people’s mental health. The programme will see national and international artists, makers and heritage experts, working with local young people to reinterpret stories from the past, their own stories and to imagine new futures. On Monday 3rd November at 4pm, BBC Radio 4 will broadcast Taking Art to the People a 30 minute documentary exploring the history of the Ancoats Art Museum and how 42nd Street is building on its legacy. The project will begin with the renovation and repurposing of an empty, Victorian shop into a three storey, dedicated creative space by Manchester based architects Stephenson STUDIO. The launch programme (2016-18) includes a site specific theatre experience, visual arts exhibitions, online collaborations between young people in the UK and Los Angeles and opportunities for young people to develop creative skills for a commercial market.  Want to know more? Get in touch with Julie McCarthy; 42nd Street’s Creative Producer who will bring young people together with some of the best creative minds to reimagine how we engage with heritage and the arts. Contact Julie HERE. 

Arts Development UK National Seminar: Arts, Health & Wellbeing
Venue: St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Date: Tuesday 1st December 2015

This national seminar in Arts Development UK’s professional development programme is aimed at officers involved in both policy and practice related to arts, health and wellbeing commissioning and service provision. Our training needs survey and previous seminar feedback indicated that arts officers across both England and Wales who are engaged in and keen to learn more this area of work. It will also assist health professionals to learn more about the benefits of applying arts and cultural participation to improve health and wellbeing. Speakers include Alex Coulter and Clive Parkinson. Click HERE for details.

Granada Foundation Grants Programme (North West)
The Granada Foundation has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 12th November 2015. Through its grants programme, the Foundation wishes to encourage and promote the study, practice and appreciation of the fine arts, including drawing, architecture and landscape architecture, sculpture, literature, music, opera, drama, cinema, and the methods and means of their dissemination. The Foundation also welcomes applications which aim to engage and inspire young people and adults to take an interest in science. Click on the Granada logo above.

Funding for Digital Projects with a social impact 
The Nominet Trust which provides funding and support to technology with a social benefit, has announced that its Social Tech Seed Investment Programme re-opened for applications on the 1st October 2015. Social Tech Seed is an investment programme that offers early-stage investment of between £15,000 and £50,000 to social entrepreneurs and charitable organisations who are looking to develop new ideas to use digital technology for social benefits. This programme provides funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas. The Trust is looking for applications that demonstrate the potential of technology to tackle some of the big social issues in sectors including wellbeing and healthcare. More details at


Sunday, 4 October 2015

…the whole of the moon

As I welcome our international friends to the UK, all things are set for Wednesday 7th and 2020+ Arts, Society & Public Health. We are now making tickets available as last minute cancellations occur, so click HERE to be added to the first come, first serve list.

Please don’t be late for the day which begins at 10:30. As well as hearing from different cultures and their explorations of arts and health, we’ll share work from around the North West Region and further afield. If time permits, we’ll start to think about where we might like to be by 2020 as a movement, and begin to reimagine how we might get there.

It’s been lovely to take care of friends from Lithuania these last few days and a big thank you to all of you who have so kindly taken time out to share your practice and research. Next week sees more visits and trips as our final international guests from Finland and Japan arrive. So a big thanks in advance, to those of you who are going to meet, greet and host our colleagues and friends. A special thanks to the Tiltas Trust for enabling Ieva and Simona’s visit.

A Symposium Investigating Connections between Culture, Society and Health & Wellbeing 
I’m pleased to say that Arts for Health’s very own, Dr. Rebecca Gordon-Nessibit is one of the two keynote speakers at an event in Bexhill on October 30th. Sharing her evidence synthesis of arts participation and its longitudinal relationship to health, she’ll be sharing the platform with Baroness Kay Andrews, author of the Welsh Government report, “Culture and Poverty: Harnessing the power of the arts, culture and heritage to promote social justice in Wales.” To find out more about this event, click on the photograph below.

BBC Children in Need Main Grant Programme 
BBC Children in Need has announced that the next applications deadline for its Main Grants Programme is the 15th January 2016. Funding is available to organisations that work with young people who:
Are suffering from illness
Are in distress
Suffer abuse or neglect
Are disabled
Have behavioural or psychological difficulties
Are living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The Main grants programme is open to applications for grants of over £10,000.


Sunday, 27 September 2015

…all of this, and more

Did you know that this month is UK Recovery Month? I know over the past few years I’ve written quite a lot about Recoverism on this blog and maybe, just maybe, you think it's a niche area of work that perhaps doesn’t involve you? In truth - it affects us all - and just like our mental health, it’s something all of us should consider, even when we don’t see ourselves as ‘problem’ drinkers, or feel we’re misusing our drugs of choice. We’re in a world that actively pushes cheap alcohol at us from supermarkets to cheaper-than-cheap pub offers, from infant-friendly alcopops to sophisticated spirits pitched at the maturer adult. Then the words - drugs - addiction - abuse - all of them loaded, dirty and full of shame and blame. Well, how do people become ‘addicted’, and do we include our state-sanctioned repeat prescriptions in the mix? For a start - it would be helpful to reframe addiction from the language of criminality and sickness and understand it in terms of wider society and conspicuous consumption. From peer-group pressure to loneliness, drink and drugs offer a quick route to both conformity and escape - from superficially inflating our sense of being, to crushing our very essence. 

Working with people affected by substance misuse issues over this last few years has offered me deep and unexpected pleasures. Yes, pleasures. Whilst many people have stories of loss and pain, it’s been the common bonds and aspirations that have connected us. Working towards the Recoverist Manifesto and meeting all those people who have contributed so far, makes me realise that what we are undertaking helps reframe substance misuse and recovery away from the sickness industry and embeds it within a wider social justice agenda. This work is about culture change and blowing away clichéd representations of addiction and recovery. 

Manchester based Portraits of Recovery are behind a series of ongoing cultural events that includes an exhibition of artist, Melanie Manchot’s work - TWELVE - which is currently on show at the Castlefield Gallery until 1st November.

TWELVE is a major new multi-channel video installation exploring the intimate stories, rituals, repetitions and ruptures of lives spent in addiction and recovery. Inspired by the visual acuity of renowned contemporary filmmakers, the work connects and collapses individual recollections in which everyday situations, events and activities are rendered dramatic or abstract and infused with tragedy, pathos and humour.

Over the last two years Manchot has worked in dialogue with twelve people in recent recovery from substance misuse, in rehabilitation communities in Liverpool, Oxford and London. TWELVE is directly informed by their personal written and oral testimonies, creative conceptions, and performances within the final works. Single sequences are shot as continuous takes, referencing iconic scenes from the films of Michael Haneke, Gus van Sant, Bela Tarr and Chantal Akerman – a ferry journey across the Mersey, a darkened room looking out on to an early morning street, a car wash, the cutting of daisies with small scissors, the obsessive cleaning of a floor – providing the framework for reflections on remembered incidents and states of mind. 

To coincide with the exhibition join Manchot in conversation with Dr Amanda Ravetz at Castlefield Gallery on 10 October 2015 / 3-5pm. The event will also be the official book launch for TWELVE, a publication with specially commissioned texts by Bill Arning, Gareth Evans, Zoe Pilger and Sally O’Reilly. Dr Amanda Ravetz is a writer and filmmaker and has a PhD in Social Anthropology. She is based in the research centre MIRIAD at the Manchester School of Art. Details HERE.

Join the debate on the value of art within the addiction & Recoverist agenda on the 13 October 2015 / 10am-12:30pm. Speaking at the event will be Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts for Health at MMU, Social Scientist Dr Ali Roy from UCLAN, Zoe Zontou, a Lecturer in Drama at Liverpool Hope University, UKRF founding Director & recovery activist, Alistair Sinclair and founding Director & Twelve commissioner, Mark Prest from Portraits of Recovery. More details HERE. 

Find Castelfield Galley’s, Twelve+ posters at poster sites across Manchester, 11 September – 15 October 2015. To coincide with the exhibition participants in long term recovery, collaborated on Twelve+ Manchester with Manchot and Portraits of Recovery with support from Manchester-based artist Rachel Cheung. Through a series of workshops the participants explored their lived experiences of addiction and recovery and their reactions to Twelve, in order to produce co-authored artwork taking Twelve out onto the streets at poster-sites across Manchester. For more information on the locations and dates of the posters please follow Twelve+ with this Google Map link

Major Work by Vic McEwan on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River 
Arts for Health collaborator and artsist in residence at the National Museum of Australia, Vic McEwan presents his latest work. “A haunting art installation has come to life on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River on the edge of Canberra. Using fog as a canvas, contemporary artist Vic McEwan has transformed static images of historical objects from the National Museum of Australia's (NMA) collection, into a transient live experience. The fluidity of the fog breaths life into the archival images, creating an eerie spectacle projected on the banks of the river. The fog installation explores Australia's connection to the land through the museum's agriculture collection. Featured objects include a collection of prize-winning wheat samples, a stump-jump plough, grinding stones used by Wiradjuri people to make flour, and a typewriter used by poet and activist Mary Gilmore.” Read more by clicking on the image ABOVE.

Sex Workers and Dying? 
Callout for help? 
Good grief?
No - this is not a midlife crisis! Although, come to think of it, I am a little warn out, frazzled and just a tad haggard! No, this is a serious request. Although the net has plenty of dubious stories about the value of sex workers in the lives of people with low self esteem and sometimes physical disfigurement, I’m finding very little in terms of references to how people with a terminal illness and who maintain sexual desire, fulfil this if they’re not in a relationship. Anecdotally, I understand that forward thinking palliative care workers and hospice staff have enabled these moments to happen, but if you have any experience in this field, or know of research or workers in this area, it would help inform a new piece of work I’m involved in. Email HERE.

The Radcliffe Trust – Music Grants 
The Radcliffe Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications to its Music masking grants programme is the 31st January 2016. Through its grant making programme, the Radcliffe Trust supports classical music performance and training especially chamber music, composition and music education. Particular interests within music education are music for children and adults with special needs, youth orchestras and projects at secondary and higher levels, including academic research. Applicants must be a registered charity or an exempt charity.

Funding to Support Education in Impoverished Areas (UK & Worldwide)
The British & Foreign Schools Society (BFSS), which supports educational projects in the UK and around the world, has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 18th December 2015. The Society supports organisations within the UK and internationally that reach out to children in remote or impoverished areas, improving inclusively in education and providing much-needed facilities. The Society normally makes grants for educational projects totalling about £500,000 in any one year. The majority (85% of grants) are made to charities and educational bodies (with charitable status).


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

looking forward to seeing you...

There are very few tickets left for our event on October 7th. We will be operating a reserve list as soon as we are at capacity. Click HERE for more details and tickets. I can confirm that the day will have international presentations around arts and health development and aspirations from Lithuania, Japan and Finland. 

Presentations from the UK will be loosely be divided into two areas around mental health and wellbeing & elders and dementia. We will find out about the work from:

Miriam Avery works as a mental health nurse in an child inpatient psychiatry unit in Manchester who has been undertaking research into arts based interventions for children and young people hospitalised with mental health issues, and have recently completed a literature review with some interesting findings. She will share initial findings which indicate that a variety of arts based interventions may improve outcomes if used as part of conventional inpatient treatment plans. 

Alison Bowry from High Peak Community Arts and the 5 year ‘Project eARTh’, (environmental arts and health) funded by Big Lottery and learning from the previous 5 years. Project eARTh is open to people experiencing mental distress and other long term conditions. 

Rachel Radford will share the work of Creative Alternatives, an Arts on Prescription programme designed to improve the emotional wellbeing of adults experiencing mild to moderate depression, stress and anxiety and who believe that creativity lies at the root of personal health and growth, as well as contributing significantly to the development of our communities and our society. 

Sarah Greaves is an Artist and an Art Psychotherapist working in two adult psychiatric hospitals for the charity Turning Point. She is developing a service user led visual art project exploring aspects of mental health and recovery through a series of art workshops over six months culminating in a public exhibition. 

I'll be pleased to introduce research team members of the Dementia & Imagination project, including our very own Dr Kat Taylor and research artists, Penny Klepuszewska, Carol Hanson and Jeni McConnell who will share a little of where the research is up to alongside a taster of the artists responses. 

Sarah Lawton and SHARING the MAKING and her socially-engaged project at the William Morris Gallery, in Walthamstow planning and implementing an older peoples pilot project, aiming to improve participants’ wellbeing and to ‘measure’ the impacts, using the UCL wellbeing measuring tool-kit.

Stacey Coughlin is a PhD candidate and artist exploring what influences people with dementia’s engagement with creative activities? When is the moment that engagement is decided and invested in? How does an individual engage with the Arts within an Arts and Health/Participatory Arts setting? 

Liz Postlethwaite will share the work of The Stroybox Project, originally developed during her time at the Library Theatre Company, and now run by social enterprise, Small Things Creative Projects, this project is specifically designed to engage, empower and enliven people living with Alzheimer's and Dementia. On a practical level it is an engagement and communication methodology which uses performance and collaborative storymaking as a starting point.

Alongside all these presenters, there are a Wild-Cards who I'm going to make time and space for and include:

Kathryn West is a singer and a music for health practitioner who for the last two years has been working at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital as part of the 'Medical Notes Project' run by Lime Arts. Her presentation will explore how music for health work has provided a space in which to explore a more creative, authentic practice, alongside the relationships she has developed with patients, families and hospital staff.  

Head of the Manchester School of Architecture, Professor Tom Jefferies will share, SMART Health and Space. The project cross cuts between Health, Architecture, Communication Technologies, Urban Planning and Infrastructure, using health as a basis to connect technological innovation and resilience with wider society. The Scottish Highlands is currently undergoing depopulation, an ageing demographic and health problems including diabetes created by a sedentary lifestyle. This forms the context for the project, parts of which are to be piloted on location. 

Dr Langley Brown will share The ARTLINES project and the gathering-in, and in some cases rescue, of a number of important archives that together document the scope and depth of arts and health practice and philosophy over the past 40 years; and of how - and why -  these archives are now being acquired by the Wellcome Library.

So - let's tickle the ribs of our dear old Northern Quarters and share and enjoy each others company, ideas and aspirations.        I can't wait...


Sunday, 13 September 2015

...ХТО ТИ?

What a week! The Assisted Dying Bill was overturned by politicians who seem rather out of touch with public opinion. MP’s have rejected plans for a right to die in England and Wales in their first vote on the issue in almost 20 years. 118 MP’s were in favour and 330 against plans to allow some terminally ill adults to end their lives with medical supervision. Read more here and it’s worth noting that a 2015 populus poll of 5,000 people – the largest ever conducted on assisted dying – showed 82% of the public support Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill to give terminally ill, mentally competent people the legal option of assistance to die with dignity.

Saturday saw Jeremy Corbyn elected as leader of the Labour Party with a sweeping majority. Some say he can’t go on to win the general election on ‘popular’ politics. What, a politician with passion, conviction and a belief that it is inequalities that underpin much of what’s wrong in society - well I for one believe that change is possible. What’s needed now is action and yes, a democratic force to oppose the dominant elite who might at last, be under harsher scrutiny. To paraphrase his victory speech: ‘...our party is about justice, is about democracy, {…} we are working together to achieve great victories, not just electorally for Labour, but emotionally for the whole of our society to show that we don’t have to be unequal, it doesn’t have to be unfair, poverty isn’t inevitable, things can - and they will - change.”

2020+ Arts, Society & Public Health is filling up nicely and I can confirm that as well as our international guests, we’ll have artists and health practitioners focusing on the areas around mental health and around ageing and dementia. As a format the day, it seems we’ll have themed areas that focus on these issues. Much, much more next week.

£12,000 Royal Knickers Scandal
The week also saw our dear old monarch celebrate her longevity and wealth - sorry - I meant, this summer saw a pair of vintage royal knickers sold for a shed-load of cash. Unequal in privilege, unequal in size. Click on either the outsize bloomers, or our unelected head of state.

LABORATORIO RELACIONAL DE ENFERMAGEM: projeto pedagógico, dialógico e crítico
This week I have been working with colleagues from the Portuguese Red Cross Nursing School of Oliveira de Azeméis and we’ve been exploring communication between nurses and patients. Big thanks to those of you who came and shared your ideas, practice and vision - and who hosted visits. That you shared so freely, makes me proud to be associated with you. I'm very interested to talk to those of you involved in nursing, who may want to be involved in future developments in this area.

Black History Month - Greater Manchester
BHMGM is a new arts partnership network to publicise events during October 2015 hosted by galleries, museums, theatres, artist led organisations and community based groups. Click on the Chris Ofili painting above to find out more.

1 October 2015, Novotel Hotel Cardiff
At this conference, NIACE Cymru will present an exploration of the many and varied benefits of adult participation and learning in the Arts. Improved health and well-being, increased employability, better business through creative approaches and a kinder more equal society; the effects can be life changing. With support from the Big Lottery in Wales we are delighted to focus on our own innovative Sharing Stories: Sharing Understanding Project and welcome knowledgeable and stimulating speakers including:
Vikki Heywood CBE - Chair of the recent Warwick Commission formerly Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
Jo Broadwood - Author of research report Arts & Kindness
More details HERE.

Spirit of 2012 Leading Voices £1m Fund 
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the Spirit of 2012 Leading Voices programme will make a single grant of up to £1 million for a 2 - 3 year project that offers new skills in the verbal arts to young people. Projects should enable young people to explore and give voice to the attitudes and behaviours that shape their lives and the social contexts in which they live; extending their capacity to empathise with others and collaborate to produce high quality creative work. They should inspire young people to engage critically with personal, ethical, social and political issues relevant to them and their communities through the exploration, expression and representation of themes, ideas, aspirations and dilemmas. Activities should be those that develop listening, reflective and expressive communication skills and may include, but are not limited to - film-making, song-writing, story-telling, poetry and rap, drama, improvisation and debate. The deadline for submitting expression of interest is 5pm on 30th September 2015. Read more at: 


Morrison’s Foundation Charitable Grants 
Charities registered in the UK can apply for grants from the newly established Morrison’s Foundation. The Foundation is looking to award approximately £2 million a year for community projects that improve people's lives. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and there is no specific grant amount that can be applied for but applicants must demonstrate how the project will deliver public benefit, who in the community will specifically benefit and how it will bring about positive change. Applicants must also have financial information dating back to 2012 and have raised some of the funding elsewhere. The Foundation has already given out a number of grants, including one in the region of £20,000 to a project in Scotland that works on youth employment in the fishing industry, yet to be formally launched, and £5,000 for a project run by Bolton Dementia Support. Applications can be submitted at any time. Read more at:

Widerstehe Doch Der Sünde