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Artist Sue Palmer and participants in Devon REACH – Soundings, photo by Kate Green
Participant in REACH Dorset, photo by Rosie Jackson
Artwork produced by young people in REACH Somerset

REACH Arts Responding to Health Needs

REACH was a regional partnership project delivered in Bristol, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and winner of a Royal Society for Public Health Award in 2010.

In Bristol the project involved Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Willis Newson, NHS Bristol, working with community organisations Bristol and Avon Chinese Womens’ Group and Dhek Bhal South Asian community organisation in work to strengthen and improve health services to older adults from black and minority ethnic groups. Artists Hannah Cox, Barbara Disney and Karen Hayes led a series of weekly Arts for Emotional Wellbeing Clubs.

In Devon Aune Head Arts and Villages in Action worked with Devon Partnership Trust and NHS Devon to develop intergenerational projects in three rural locations. Using sound, photographs and animation they explored relationships, memories and skills. Artists Sue Palmer, Joff Winterhart, Kate Green and Jennie Hayes.

In Dorset, Bridport Medical Centre and Bridport Arts Centre developed a programme of visual art and creative writing courses for those experiencing depression, anxiety and stress. Participants were referred via the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies team or self referred. Artists Marc Yeats and Rosie Jackson worked collaboratively on delivering the courses.

NHS Somerset commissioned Take Art to work with young people on an action research project to look at the barriers to healthy lifestyles for 13-14 year olds. Artists Richard Tomlinson and Emma Thompson worked with young people using drama, photography and animation.

The project was supported by Arts & Health South West and NHS South West. Willis Newson, the Bristol based arts and health agency managed the overall delivery. Willis Newson received a Royal Society for Public Health Arts and Health Award for REACH in 2010. 

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