Reach In and Reach Out (RIRO)

Arts and Health South West (AHSW) and six delivery partners are currently delivering ‘Reach In and Reach Out’ (RIRO) a co-produced project with those aged 16-24 who live in the West of England Combined Authority area, and who are struggling to find work due to loneliness, social disadvantage, mental health challenges.

About RIRO Project

Research shows that engaging in creative activities can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing and the development of personal attributes like positive self-image, confidence, and social engagement. With a group of young people identified via partner organisations, RIRO aims to explore the link between creativity, wellbeing, community engagement and volunteering and co-produce a series of workshops in cultural venues. We will share learning regionally and nationally in the form of a framework or toolkit that is adaptable to different types and scales of cultural venues, programmes and events.

The project will work across three sites where our partners will develop experimental workshops and creative activities with young people in their area:

The young people will be supported to be equal participants in the creative process and encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in the way they help the cultural and heritage practitioners to think about working and volunteering with young people. The process will be one of reciprocal learning between young people, creative practitioners and cultural and heritage professionals. As such the RIRO project will support young people to develop their creative skills and interest in cultural and heritage contexts and work opportunities.

Alex Coulter, Director of Arts and Health South West, said:

“Building on the good practice demonstrated by our delivery partners including the Holburne Museum, Creativity Works, creativeShift, Theatre Orchard, John Wesley’s New Room, For All Healthy Living Centre, as well health partners UHBW NHS Trust, North Bristol NHS Trust, the project will encourage a step-change for those struggling to find their way in the world”

RIRO is supported by the Art Council England’s Volunteering Futures Fund, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Download the the joint ACE & AHSW Press Release here >>

Project Funding

ACE Logo

AHSW together with their six delivery partners from across the South West has been awarded £180,000 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England via the Volunteering Futures Fund.

The Volunteering Futures Fund was launched last year and will be distributed by Arts Council England. It will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors to continue their valuable work within local communities whilst volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference. A full list of funded projects can be found here.


National Lottery Heritage Fund Logo

An additional £10,000 for the project has been funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players.



We’re very pleased to launch the blog for the Reach In Reach Out (RIRO) project. Over the next two years we’ll have stories, progress reports and profiles of the project team overall.

Shannon Humphries will be a regular blogger for RIRO. As a young person herself, Shannon has a unique perspective of the creativity and wellbeing themes of this project. In addition to her administrative responsibilities with AHSW, she is learning community researcher skills and will help us hear the voices of our young people participants. Originally from Cornwall and now living in Exeter, Shannon loves to write and do creative things.

“In the past 5 years I have learned so much about mental health and the importance of acceptance and self development.”

We look forward to her blogs and those of others on the project.

Read more about RIRO via our Blog

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