Arts in health partnerships are powerful and transformative, creating communities and enabling individuals to thrive.

Partnerships between arts and healthcare providers are critical to support and improve mental health outcomes. The high-quality interventions offered by arts in health partnerships can be life-changing for participants: improving confidence, building self-esteem and creating pathways to education, training and new careers. On this page we hear from participants-turned practitioners, and from policy-makers.

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Insight from experience

Valuing Creative Practice

In this video Sarah Lovell, Lead Officer for Culture at the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, reflects on the importance of arts in health partnerships at a strategic level. She champions the unique value of interventions developed from such collaborations and how, through creative practice, they create safe spaces and opportunities to respond directly to needs in the community.

Case in focus

'Through the great literature that we share… it makes all the difference.'

Helen Cook, a Volunteer Reader Leader with The Reader in Liverpool, spoke with us about her experiences of Shared Reading as both a group member and facilitator. She first came to The Reader after struggling with chronic pain. Helen reflects here on the ‘priceless’ value of this arts intervention for her health and wellbeing and shares the importance of the group being held within a healthcare setting.

Helen Cook: Shared Reading

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Listen to Helen’s reflections on the ‘absolutely life-changing’ experience of taking part in a Shared Reading group at Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool.

examples & evidence

Above and Beyond

An interim evaluation of Collective Encounters’ Above and Beyond project. Hear from practitioners, community leaders and participants about this project's experimentation with using participatory theatre to connect marginalized communities and centre local people's priorities through creative production.

My House of Memories App

Hear directly from people living with dementia, their carers and loved ones about how user-friendly and fun the My House of Memories App is and the conversation, joy and positive wellbeing impacts it has had for them. A version of the video above has been created specifically for use in doctors’ surgeries and other clinical settings: it displays text over the video and does not need sound to be understood.

Reports from the Reader

The Reader regularly evaluates the impact of its work evidencing how Shared Reading changes lives by improving wellbeing, reducing social isolation and building stronger communities. Read reports on the therapeutic benefits of reading in relation to depression and wellbeing and the quality of life benefits of Shared Reading Groups for people living with dementia among many other sources of evidence

In Harmony Liverpool

A Report reflecting on 10 years' of the In Harmony Liverpool programme led by the RLP and launched by the Department for Education in 2009. It documents the transformational power and wellbeing benefits of ensemble music-making for children in the communities of North Liverpool.