Researching ways of offering prescribed art for the benefit of Gwynedd residents

Date: 19/05/2020
celf mewn iechyd gwynedd

The world has been turned upside down in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and all parts of society have been affected by the pandemic. One of the challenges during this period is to try to look after our mental health and wellbeing, with stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression affecting many of us.

Gwynedd Council’s Community Arts had planned to explore the possibilities of establishing a new arts scheme for the people of Gwynedd by offering an arts prescription before the virus hit. After considerable consideration it was decided to continue with the work despite the uncertainty of the current situation.

Arts on prescription schemes are available in various parts of the UK but not currently in Gwynedd.

Gwawr Wyn Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Community Arts Development Officer, explained: "Such schemes enable people to receive a prescription to attend or undertake an arts activity e.g. drawing, singing, dancing, acting etc. to allow for expression and positive contributions to their health and wellbeing.

"With the advent of COVID-19 we believe that the demand for these kinds of opportunities will be increasingly important as society gradually responds and recovers, so it was decided to continue with the research."

The first step is to spend a period investigating the most suitable methods to run such a scheme. Cwmni CELyn will lead this important work in conjunction with the project Steering Group.

Caryl Elin Lewis of Cwmni CELyn, said: "We are very pleased to be appointed to undertake this research. It has been proven that participation in the arts can prevent disease and improve health and well-being.

“There is great potential to maximise the status of the arts in Gwynedd and its role in improving the health and wellbeing of residents. We look forward to helping to make this a reality."

Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for developing the Economy and Community, said: “The research will begin gradually over the coming weeks and will respond to the pandemic situation as it develops. We’ll trial methods of delivery when the situation permits.

“Exploring digital ways of working is likely to be a key part of the plan, although we also hope that it will be possible to conduct face-to-face activities in the future when it will be safe to do so.”

The development of this scheme will be shared on the website.

If you are a creative practitioner or a health professional you are warmly invited to contact us if you would like to learn more about a scheme by emailing Gwawr Wyn Roberts, Community Arts Development Officer at arts@gwynedd.llyw.cmru or telephone 01286 679721.