Arts for Health & Wellbeing

In September 2022, Wandsworth Council called out for local arts and cultural organisations to apply for a new funding opportunity, designed to support creative activity focused on health and wellbeing in the borough.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing is a holistic approach to healthcare that brings together the social and medical models of health and wellness. It provides a formal pathway for health providers to address the diverse determinants of health, using the familiar and trusted environments of GP practices, health visitors and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.

Wandsworth’s Arts for Health & Wellbeing programme adds a new cultural offer to the award-winning Social Prescribing programme already operating in the borough, which was named national Social Prescribing Programme of the Year at the Link Worker Day 2021 Awards, and is delivered in partnership with Enable and South West London Integrated Care System.

Wandsworth Arts for Health & Wellbeing programme

Wandsworth Council are supporting eight local organisations to deliver creative health & wellbeing programmes across the borough, between January 2023 and June 2024.

In addition, Wandsworth Council has commissioned one of the UK’s leading arts and health organisations, Breathe Arts Health Research, to deliver their award-winning programme Breathe Melodies for Mums in Winstanley and Roehampton’s Children Centres.

Their 10 week programme will start on:

Date: Thursday 5 October 2023
Time: 10.30am to 11.30am
Location: Eastwood Children’s Centre, SW15 4HR in Roehampton
Price: Free

Date: Thursday 5 October 2023
Time: 1.30pm to 2.30pm
Location: York Gardens Children’s Centre, SW11 2U in Winstanley
Price: Free

Sign up and find out more here

“We know that taking control of our own health and living a full and active life is crucial to protecting and enhancing our wellbeing and mental health. Arts and culture are an important part of this, and I’m delighted that we are supporting our community partners to put on these activities for local people to enjoy.”

– Cllr Graeme Henderson, Wandsworth Council’s Cabinet Member for Health

Become part of a Community of Practice

“Wandsworth Council’s investment in Arts for Health & Wellbeing comes at an exciting time for Breathe, as we celebrate a decade of working in the Creative Health sector and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with other brilliant cultural organisations in the borough.”

– Yvonne Farquharson, Founder & MD, Breathe Arts Health Research

In order to support the development of the Creative Health sector in the borough, Wandsworth Council is working with Breathe Arts Health & Research to develop a Community of Practice around Creative Social Prescribing in Wandsworth. This Community of Practice is open to all cultural organisations operating or interested in Creative Health and Social Prescribing.

As part of Wandsworth Arts for Health & Wellbeing pilot initiative, the following training and networking opportunities are available for free to Wandsworth-based creative organisations engaged in Health & Wellbeing activities:

Projects 2023 - 2024

Discover the creative health & wellbeing the projects being supported in Wandsworth until June 2024.

Bounce Theatre: Speech Bubbles

A year-long creative intervention for children aged 5-7, who have a communication need that affects their well-being. Speech Bubbles is a weekly drama programme offering children an opportunity to tell stories and act them out. Bounce Theatre are working with Key Stage 1 pupils at Griffin Primary School and Falconbrook Primary School to deliver the project.


Sound Minds: art workshops

Mental Health charity Sound Minds are supported to engage with new participants experiencing mental distress by expanding the provision of visual art workshops with an additional weekly afternoon session.


Katherine Low Settlement: Elders Sewing Group

A weekly guided programme of sewing activities for frail and isolated people aged over 60 in Wandsworth.

"We see first-hand the benefits of social prescribing for creative activities in a community setting: while learning new craft skills and working hard on their projects, our members are also building confidence, making new friendships and accessing support networks at our centre.” - Sarah Goodall, Head of Elders Team, Katherine Low Settlement


MovementWorks: Action for Autism

Weekly Dance Movement Therapy session for young people aged 11 – 16 with autism and related differences, taking place at Tooting Leisure Centre, in Autumn 2023.

MovementWorks will offer a 12-week programme of well-being focused dance sessions led by experienced professional Autism Movement Therapy Practitioners. The sessions include participating in learning rhythmic and dance movement patterns and sequences and interactive games that encourage creative and social collaboration.


Tara Theatre & CARAS: Sanctuary Seekers Coffee Mornings

Weekly creative coffee morning for sanctuary seekers will be held at Tara Theatre in partnership with CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) throughout 2023, promoting social inclusion through arts engagement activities for anyone who has come to the UK with refugee, humanitarian protected or asylum seeker status.


Wandsworth Libraries: CathARTism

CathARTism will explore health and wellbeing through art in an informal and relaxed atmosphere at Balham and Tooting libraries every week, starting from April 2023 to March 2024. The aim of these sessions is to provide free, accessible support to those who are experiencing feelings associated with stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression through workshops, delivered by qualified facilitators pulling from art therapy techniques, mindfulness and positive psychology.


Wandsworth Music: Music Therapy

Weekly sessions for children and young people in schools across the borough, and at their Saturday clinic at from April 2023 to March 2024.

Wandsworth Music Therapy will run individual and group music therapy sessions designed to meet the individual emotional, social and communication needs of each child. This project will reach young people who have been identified as needing support with their mental health to improve wellbeing, resilience and self-confidence.


For more information about the Community of Practice or ways to integrate your creative health activity as part of Wandsworth’s Social Prescribing offer, please contact Arts for Health & Wellbeing lead Lelia Greci on [email protected].