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Torbay Culture invited to discuss Arts, Health and Wellbeing at All-Party Group, Houses of Parliament

In January 2018, Executive Director of Torbay Culture, Kate Farmery, represented Torbay at an All-Party Parliamentart Group meeting on Arts, Health and Wellbeing at the Houses of Parliament. Read on for a report from the meeting.

The meeting was held to discuss the recommendations of the recent two-year inquiry and report Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing. The meeting also looked at how the APPG and other partners can most usefully support progress of these recommendations.


As one of a small number of places across the UK, Kate Farmery was invited to represent Torbay due to the significant programme of cultural commissioning work that Torbay Culture has been doing with partners in health and care sectors. This includes the dance classes for falls prevention and mobility, ‘singing for wellness’ choirs and singing groups for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or similar conditions, mental health workshops for children and young people, mental health and well-being workshops for older people.


Kate was invited to share Torbay’s learning and achievements with MPs, Peers and senior Public Health and NHS England professionals and to comment on plans for the implementation of the All-Party Group’s recommendations.  She was also able to compare notes with colleagues from other leading centres of arts and health practice, including Gloucestershire CCG.  Torbay Culture’s achievements were commended by group Co-Chairs Rt Hon Lord Howarth of Newport and Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP.


There are ten recommendations in the report and the APPG is now working on supporting their implementation, in particular the following: 


Recommendation 3: It is recommended that, at board or strategic level, in NHS England, Public Health England and each clinical commissioning group, NHS trust, local authority and health and wellbeing board, an individual is designated to take responsibility for the pursuit of institutional policy for arts, health and wellbeing.


Recommendation 4: It is recommended that those responsible for NHS New Models of Care and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships ensure that arts and cultural organisations are involved in the delivery of health and wellbeing at regional and local level.


Torbay is becoming known as a centre of best practice for these innovative partnerships; supported with funding from Arts Council England and a recent grant of £1.2m from the Great Place Scheme, which goes towards a £1.6m development programme. The aim is to use arts and heritage to deliver social and economic outcomes, maximising the value of cultural engagement to increase community well-being across Torbay.  The Great Place Scheme is made possible by National Lottery players through £1,191,400 awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England.



Posted on 30 March 2018

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