The Arts as Health & Wellbeing

This page showcases a list of organisations providing arts for health and wellbeing programmes to the health & social care sector. Click on the company name to visit their website.

Age Friendly Museums Network

We believe that museums and older people enrich each other. We aim to develop innovative and collaborative opportunities by bringing people together. As well as museum, galleries and arts professionals, the Network includes those from health and social care, voluntary sector, research professionals and older people themselves. 

Arts 4 Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia believes that people with dementia and their carers have the right to enjoy life to the full.  Participating in arts activity, rekindling and learning new artistic skills enables them to bypass dementia symptoms and enjoy new creative experiences together. Arts 4 Dementia is a young charity helping to develop and co-ordinate dynamic high-quality events at arts venues as cognitive rehabilitation for families affected by dementia - from diagnosis. 

BBC Music Memories & BBC Memory Radio

BBC Music Memories has been designed to help people with dementia start to create a playlist of personally meaningful music. These playlists can be added to a database of the nation’s favourite music via a survey embedded in the website, and printed off to create a record of someone’s selections.

Bright Shadow

Brightshadow’s mission is to enable people with dementia and those affected by it to live well and to thrive. We use creativity and performance to celebrate the present moment and create means and opportunities for people with dementia to express themselves, interact with others and take part in meaningful activity. We do this through delivering our Zest workshops and programmes for people living with dementia in care settings and by producing training and resources to enable those working with people with dementia to deliver meaningful and creative activities.

A Choir in Every Care Home

Launching in May 2015, A Choir in Every Care Home is an ambitious new initiative to explore how singing can feature regularly in care homes across the country. Funded and initiated by the Baring Foundation, it is a unique collaboration between 30 leading national organisations from the worlds of adult social care, music and healthcare research. It is being led by three major organisations in the field: Live Music Now, which provides national leadership for musicians working in the care sector; Sound Sense, the UK professional association for community music; and the Sidney De Haan Research Centre, providing cutting edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing.

Creative Dementia Arts Network

We believe that participation in music, singing, theatre, drama, dance, visual arts, crafts and other creative arts are beneficial for people with dementia. Our mission is to promote the use of creative arts as a means of improving the health and well being of individuals living with dementia, their families and communities. We do this through providing artists, arts organisations and educators with information and resources for their work and facilitating the sharing and exchange of best practice. We also connect creative arts providers with commissioners working across cultural, health, social care, housing and business sectors to raise awareness of the value of creative arts for dementia.

Creative Minds

Creative Minds is social enterprise and community of professional artists delivering fun and stimulating Art Sessions to care homes across the UK. We currently work with older adults and people with learning disabilities helping people of all ages and abilities to explore their creativity!

Dance for Life

Dance For Life is a collaborative project between New Adventures & Re:Bourne and Dementia Pathfinders. The project is a unique opportunity for dancers from the New Adventures company to obtain new skills in delivering creative dance sessions specifically for people living with dementia. Since 2008 New Adventures & Re:Bourne has developed a team of passionate and dedicated community dance-artists who now act as leading ambassadors for the company in a community setting.

Dance to Health

Dance to Health is a new, pioneering nationwide falls prevention dance programme for older people. Combining evidence and physiotherapy with the creativity, expression and energy of dance it reduces falls by up to 55%. 

Engage & Create

We are a social enterprise dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with Dementia and those that care for them. We believe everyone has the right to inspiring conversation where they are heard and understood. Involvement in our structured art appreciation discussions, Ignite Sessions, offers a safe space for people to express their views and beliefs enabling participation in a meaningful, intellectual activity and opportunity for personal growth. 

Equal Arts

We are a leading creative ageing charity supporting older people in Newcastle, Gateshead and across the UK. Our team works to improve the lives of older people through creativity and our arts activities around the North East provide creative opportunities to help improve people wellbeing. We strongly believe in the health benefits of the arts and support care staff and artists to deliver musical, visual and movement-based creative activities with active older people and those living with dementia.

Finding Your Compass

The Finding Your Compass project explores a creative road to management and recovery from mental health conditions. The arts are used as both a communications tool and as a mechanism for supporting mental wellbeing. GP referred (and sometimes self referred) patients tell their stories, through movement and drawing (supporting lateral thinking and problem solving), their reflections (providing further detail in personal narratives) and moving and still images (translating these experiences into an artistic outcome). In doing so, the participants gain self-confidence, which both reinforces a sense of belonging and raises awareness within the audience.

Green Candle Dance Company

At Green Candle, we are committed to bring dance as participation and performance to children, young people and older adults in our community. And through dance,  to create healthier people and healthier, more integrated communities.

High Peak Community Arts

High Peak Community Arts provides opportunities for people to participate in high quality creative arts projects, enhancing their quality of life through self expression. We focus on those who have least access to arts and culture, benefiting some of the most hard to reach and isolated individuals and groups in the community. Our participants include those affected by disability, lack of resources or encouragement, rural isolation and other personal or social circumstances. We provide first and onward opportunities for participants of all ages, interests and abilities, to experiment with the creative arts, including film, digital arts, crafts, performance and visual arts; and to create work that reflects and celebrates life.

Intergenerational Music Making 

Intergenerational Music Making uses the power of music to bridge the gap between generations, tackle social isolation, loneliness whilst improving the mental health and wellbeing of both the young and the old. Through our unique music therapy projects, training, apprenticeships, workshops, events and public performances, IMM uses music and the arts as a catalyst to bridge social divides, build communities, expand horizons and open up new perspectives and relationships.  We bring together targeted groups, those living with Dementia, those suffering with mental health difficulties and those socially and economically deprived areas across all communities in unique music making projects.  We are determined to build healthy, resilient, connected and empowered communities throughout the UK, strengthening our society as well as fostering mutual understanding and tackling agesim.

Ladder to the Moon

Ladder to the Moon provides workforce and service development that enables health & care organisations to develop active, creative, vibrant care services. We use approaches that incorporate training, coaching and the arts. Our approach involves staff, people living with long-term conditions, and the wider community. 

Magic Me

Over the past two decades Magic Me has created opportunities for older and younger people to come together through the arts to build stronger friendly communities. Our projects use the performing arts, visual arts and music to bring together schools and day centres, sheltered accommodation and community groups, adult volunteers and care home residents. 

Magpie Dance

Magpie Dance is a contemporary dance charity for people with learning disabilities. With an emphasis on ability rather than disability, Magpie has carved out a national reputation for its exciting and inspiring approach to inclusive dance. Founded 30 years ago by the current Artistic Director Avril Hitman, Magpie unlocks individual potential and ability by giving participants space to make their own choices and take ownership of what they achieve. Based in Bromley, Magpie can deliver workshops to any region in the UK. Dancers and inclusive dance enthusiasts gain opportunities through high quality programmes in participation, performance and training.

Music for Dementia - Journey with music through dementia

A colourful and inspiring new guide is now available to help people understand how to use and experience music at every phase of a person’s dementia journey. Click here to download.
The Musical Dementia Care Pathway explains visually why, how, who with, where, and when people might access music to help enhance quality of life through music. Based on the concept of the NHS Well Dementia Pathway, this engaging guide will be an invaluable resource for people to return to again and again to find and explore new ideas.

National Museums Liverpool - House of Memories

House of Memories is an award-winning training programme, which targets the carers of people living with dementia. It provides participants with information about dementia and equips them with the practical skills and knowledge to facilitate a positive quality of life experience for people living with dementia. Find out more about the House of Memories programme. House of Memories offers dementia awareness training for professionals, as well as buddy days for families, friends and volunteer carers. There are also a number of memory resources, activities and events. 

Paintings in Hospitals

We are a leading visual arts in health charity, supporting people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Since 1959 we have been working in partnership with residents, carers and families to transform care and clinical environments into more human and inspiring spaces. We empower people through the visual arts to make their own decisions about art, and by working together, we create better care spaces that encourage and enrich the lives of everyone.

Prism Arts

Prism Arts is an inclusive arts organisation. This means that we set up and run arts projects that are fully accessible to all. Our priority is to develop projects that enable disabled people, young people and older people to engage in the arts. Our projects are always delivered by professional artists; this means that the quality of our work is very high. Our projects are shaped and led by our participants. Our work has significant impact on people’s lives in way that is beneficial to their health, wellbeing, creative development and confidence.

Starlit Memories

Starlit Memories was set up to bring musical entertainment into care homes, hospitals and centres for adults with learning difficulties. The shows take the audience on a musical journey through different eras, to spark reminiscence and encourage collective involvement in a group activity. 

The Cinema Museum

The Cinema Museum is always keen to work with partners and neighbours in Lambeth and Southwark. Check out our wide-ranging support package to help local wellbeing initiatives.

The Concertina Charitable Trust 

The Concertina Charitable Trust makes grants to charities that provide musical activities for the elderly community in need.

The Reader

The Reader is an award-winning charitable social enterprise working to connect people with great literature through shared reading. We’re here to bring books to life, creating welcoming environments in which personal feeling is recognised and valued, forming vital connections between people and literature through which everyone can feel more alive. Our ethos and purpose were originally forged in our shared reading groups, which is where most of our activity still takes place.  But we are now working in other areas of communal life, and our purpose shines through in our Café, on our allotment, in a community play, at a public reading or even at a conker festival. Whatever we do, we do with brio, with care for people and with commitment to detail at every level.

Turtle Key Arts

Turtle Key Arts unlocks creative potential in individuals, companies and communities, producing and devising original, ground-breaking inclusive art to entertain and inspire. They have played a committed role in advancing participation in the arts by disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded people, and are widely recognised as a leader in this field, often charting new territories, such as Turtle Song for people with Dementia and The Key Club for young people with Autism.

Vamos Theatre

Vamos Theatre is the UK’s leading full mask theatre company and a sector leader in empathetic, non-verbal communication training. We believe that the arts has a strong and positive role to play in the wider community and offer effective and well-evidenced workshops and performances that engage people to think differently about ways of caring, and promote an understanding of honest human connections. Over the last two years, Vamos Theatre has developed proven and popular performances and training that specifically engages people who live with dementia, their carers and their families.