Arts Derbyshire Header Image

Arts and Health Projects

The Derbyshire Arts, Health and Wellbeing Working Group has been involved in a number of development projects in the county.
Caring Creatively 126 by 136

Current projects include:

All Dance
All Dance was originally part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations in Derbyshire in 2012, inviting disabled people to dance. In 2015 eight Community Dance Artists were partnered with groups based in each of the eight Derbyshire Boroughs, creating a dance piece unique to each group and their Dance Artist. There was a performance event for groups in the north of the county and one for groups based in the south of the county, where friends and family were able to see the finished dance pieces. 

‘arts:impact – Arts for Wellbeing in Derbyshire’ delivered professional arts activity in care settings, training for care staff and professional development for Arts and Health artists, alongside Caring Creatively – a newsletter, web resource and networking opportunities for care staff wishing to lead and develop arts activity in their care setting.  

Taking the Lead 148 by 43

Taking the Lead was an exciting Youth Music-funded initiative to support young people’s development through providing leadership opportunities in and around music making in care settings. In addition we provided training for Derbyshire’s music leaders and developed a toolkit in order to encourage this intergenerational practice. 

A practical guide to the arts in a health context
We have produced a downloadable pdf leaflet (see the 'Arts Offer in Health Flyer' below) explaining clearly the benefits of taking part in arts activity on mental and physical health and wellbeing, some suggestions of different types of activity, and how people can access it, at any stage of health and on any budget, across Derbyshire. 

Arts, Health and Wellbeing Evaluation Development
Derbyshire County Council, on behalf of Derbyshire Arts Partnership (DAP), commissioned an independent consultant working with a graduate placement student to support the evaluation of three arts and mental health projects within Derbyshire; and advise on the development of an evaluation framework that could assist the partnership in assessing the impact and effectiveness of commissioned arts and health activity in the longer term, helping to establish a consistent evidence base with a particular focus on the mental health improvements achieved by projects. This is intended to complement rather than replace existing, in-depth and qualitative evaluation processes that projects may already be using or wish to develop. The Final Summary Report, dated 21st April 2010 and available to download below, includes a summary of the three projects and plus the suggested evaluation tools and good practice which came out of these projects, which are free for all to use and disseminate.

The Reading and Wellbeing Project
Derbyshire Libraries Wellbeing Project encourages people with mental health issues to read and talk about their reading with others. For those who are feeling isolated, depressed, anxious, or simply have fallen out of the reading habit, joining a book group, being read to or taking part in a creative writing workshop can be a good way to socialise, relax, build up confidence and make new friends.

Arts at the HeART of Wellbeing
The Arts at the HeART of Wellbeing Project, managed by Erewash Borough Council, was begun in 2008 as a pilot project to take a professional artist into the homes of housebound older people and those living in residential care. After the project evaluations showed dramatic improvement in the wellbeing and social interaction of participants, the project was extended, to include further residential settings as well as day centres, sheltered accommodations, supported housing and training for care workers and other artists.  For more information, or for a project booklet (produced annually), contact

BLISS Memory Box Project
The BLISS Memory project involved people living with dementia and those who live with and care for them. The project was created by the Alzheimer's Society and Arts Officers at North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield Councils. They wanted to address the loneliness and isolation experienced by people living with dementia and provide enjoyable, social activities. The project enabled two groups of people in Eckington and Chesterfield to try new arts and crafts skills and work with photographs, images and artefacts to talk about their shared memories and their lives. BLISS Memory Box Project image 2Everyone found the sessions enjoyable and many people found out about skills they didn't know they - or their loved ones - had. Participants created Memory Boxes to be used as the basis for reminiscence activities and discussions with families and carers about their lives.

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett

Featured articles

Derbyshire Festivals

Take a look at all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right through the year and right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

Courses, workshops and education

Check out these courses and workshops across Derbyshire through the year.

artsderbyshire on Facebook and Twitter

Come and join in the conversation.