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Voluntary Arts Big Conversation results

The 2018 annual survey from Voluntary Arts highlights the contribution that the voluntary and amateur creative sector makes to addressing loneliness and social isolation. 

Despite the challenges faced by creative individuals and groups, and the broader context of political uncertainty, optimism about the future of the voluntary arts sector remains high, scoring 4.35 out of a possible 5.

Overwhelmingly, the recent survey highlights the huge contribution that the voluntary and amateur creative sector makes to addressing one of the most pressing public policy challenges: that of loneliness and social isolation. When asked about the reasons for taking part, the social element of participation in creative groups was one of the most important reasons. The most frequent terms used were: friendship, community, and meeting other people. “Getting together with other like-minded people to enjoy, to socialise, and make new friends” was a typical response.

For the first time, respondents were asked whether their creative group did any targeted work prioritising particular policy areas, and 61% of those involved in creative activity said that their group does work to support people experiencing (or at risk of) loneliness. And for those respondents who said they were not currently involved in creative groups, the strongest motivator for wanting to take part is also the social element.

Many respondents also talked about the benefits to their health and wellbeing of participation in creative activities, variously describing their regular practice as “uplifting”, “exhilarating”, “stress-relieving”, “relaxing” and “keeping depression at bay”. This accords with an increasing body of evidence which demonstrates that regular participation in creative activities is beneficial to health.

Read more via the Voluntary Arts Website



Posted on 13 February 2019

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