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Health and Wellbeing

Cultural experiences can help improve health and wellbeing, and can result in benefits that range from the physiological to the emotional.

Health and Wellbeing

“It’s restorative. You might have a stressful week and then you go somewhere like the Whitworth and there’s tranquility.” Consultant Psychiatrist

Cultural experiences can help improve health and wellbeing, and can result in benefits that range from the physiological to the emotional. Close encounters with culture can offer an escape from the pressure of modern living by providing a space within which to reflect, for example, while at the Whitworth we try to create opportunities for our visitors and participants to join in and learn about the world – and themselves.

The Whitworth has won two Royal Society for Public Health awards for innovative and outstanding contributions to arts and health practice and research. Our current focus is exploring creativity, ageing and dementia. Coffee, Cake and Culture is a programme specifically designed for people living with dementia and their carers.

Find out more about our Health and Culture programme, including our ArtMED training and workshops, which are delivered in partnership with Manchester hospitals.

We have been working with stroke survivors, carers and clinicians for the last 18 months, for example, to explore the role of art in stroke recovery. In May 2015, in partnership with Stroke Association we launch the first ever Stroke Café in a gallery.

We also run Culture Shots which is a week-long series of free events, planned to fit around a busy working day, offering health and social care professionals an opportunity to be enthused by culture in the hospital environment.

Not So Grim Up North is a 3 year research project funded by Arts Council England. Researchers at University College London are working with the Whitworth, Manchester Museum and Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums to investigate how museum and gallery activities can make a difference in terms of health, and in terms of wellbeing.