Creative health resources

Social Perscribing

Toolkits, resources and evidence

Advocating Creative Health in the North East and North Cumbria

Alice Thwaite is the Creative Health Associate for the North East, North Cumbria and Yorkshire, and is hosted by the NENC Integrated Care Board. The programme was set up by the National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) to further embed creative health within health and care systems. It aims to share knowledge and research between sectors to improve understanding of the potential benefits of creativity on the health and wellbeing of people and communities. Read Alice's blog for more information about her role. Contact:

Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance (CHWA) resource portal

This CHWA portal contains inspirational manifestos, helpful toolkits, and guides to what evidence is already out there about creative or cultural practice that relates to health and wellbeing, and how to evidence your own work.

Creative Health Review

The National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing's Creative Health Review highlights the potential for creative health to help tackle pressing issues in health and social care and more widely. It features case studies from across our region, including: South Tees Arts Project (STAR); Springbank Pavilion in Leazes Park working with the RVI Hospital Newcastle; Heart of Blyth cultural placemaking project; GEM Arts 'Feel Good Women’s Group' in Gateshead; and a project re-designing GP services and working with the VCSE sector and community assets in Bensham.

Creative Health Toolkit

The National Centre for Creative Health's Toolkit is designed to support Integrated Care Systems to embed creative health. It aims to help health and social care systems embed the benefits of creativity, from Integrated Care System (ICS) planning to delivery by grass roots organisations. It encourages commissioners, link workers and the Voluntary Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to work collaboratively and deliver better health outcomes for communities and individuals.

North East & North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network: Creative Health

Creative Health is an approach to address health and wellbeing through engagement in creative activities such as dance, drama, visual art, film making, music or puppetry to name a few. There are many benefits of the approach for children and young people in the North East and North Cumbria. One of the Child Health and Wellbeing Network's key cross-cutting themes is art and creativity.

Creative Health Quality Framework

The Creative Health Quality Framework is a tool that articulates what 'good' looks like for creative and cultural initiatives that aim to support people’s health and wellbeing. Funded by Arts Council England and developed by Creative Health Consultant Jane Willis, in collaboration with creative practitioners, participants, health commissioners, and researchers, the tool is designed to help anyone involved in developing and delivering creative approaches to supporting health and wellbeing. The framework consists of a set of downloadable PDF resources based around eight Creative Health Quality Principles.

Creative Health State of the Sector report

The UK State of the Sector Survey was conducted between February and April 2023, to help understand more about the creative health sector in the UK. It was conducted as a collaboration between Culture, Health and Wellbeing alliance (CHWA); the Wales Arts, Health & Wellbeing Network; Arts Health & Wellbeing Scotland; and Arts Care (Northern Ireland).

Arts and culture social prescribing

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) NASP outlines what prescribing arts and culture involves and does it really work. They share case studies about Arts and Wellbeing, information, resources, and evidence. You can also find out how to get involved in Arts and Culture Social Prescribing if you are a local charity, arts organisation, or arts professional.

Arts Council England: Creative health strategy and resources

Creative Health & Wellbeing is a plan for how Arts Council England is going to work within health and social care, and how they will promote collaboration between organisations and practitioners in the creative and health sectors. It includes information about 'Let’s Create', Arts Council England’s 2020–30 strategy.

Creative Health Stories

Hosted by Laura Bailey, Creative Health Podcast is a national platform for discussion about the benefits of creativity to people’s health and wellbeing. Thoughtful conversations with professionals and those with lived experience reveal what ‘creative health’ means, how it helps and how we can collectively enable more people to benefit from creativity.

Revolutionising mental health through the arts

In this UCL Population Health Sciences webinar Professor Daisy Fancourt, Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Arts and Health, explores how the arts can support in the treatment of mental illness and help to reduce the incidence and prevalence of mental health conditions. She looks at how schemes such as social prescribing could help to bring arts and cultural engagement to populations who stand to benefit the most.

Arts and Health evaluation: Navigating the landscape

This resource, produced by the Social Biobehavioural Research Group at University College London, provides a comprehensive mapping of what arts and health evaluation frameworks and toolkits exist, as well as general tips and advice. It is designed to support anyone interested in arts and health to navigate the landscape of evaluation.

Arts and health in action across the North East and North Cumbria

Community-based arts and creative health projects across our region are demonstrating the positive impact they have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and their communities. Here are some examples of the work that's underway...

Forty Years of Working in the Arts at Grass Roots: Helix Arts

Last year, Helix Arts celebrated their fortieth year of collaborating and connecting with local communities in North Tyneside and the North East. The Arts charity supports community members and artists to work together to bring about meaningful changes to their wellbeing; tackling complex health inequalities. Their work takes place in community centres, care homes, hospitals, parks, prisons and streets, with a commitment to working with those who are often forgotten, vulnerable and facing adverse circumstances.

A photo of a boy in a community setting, holding his artwork proudly up to the camera.

South Tees Arts project (STAR)

The South Tees Arts project is an innovative school-based project. The North East and North Cumbria’s Child Health and Wellbeing Network and key regional partners came together to design a locality-based project which aimed to increase access to the arts for those living in deprived areas of South Tees to improve their health and wellbeing. Here they share the project overview report, full research report and associated films.

Young people in a group playing peek-a-boo together in a school hall

Keep up-to-date with social prescribing news

VONNE is the lead body for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB)’s Healthy Communities and Social Prescribing Workstream and coordinates a regional social prescribing network. 

You can sign-up to receive our Healthy Communities and Social Prescribing Network bulletin which periodically shares information about the programme, resources, events and learning opportunities as well as wider social prescribing news and developments. If you're a social prescribing lead within the NHS, Local Authorities and the VCSE sector across the North East and North Cumbria, join our mailing list.