Evaluating the Impact of Blackpool Arts for Health (2014-15)

The ICC’s research lead for Cultural Assets and Social Value, Gayle Whelan, has been commissioned to lead a study on the impact of the Blackpool Arts for Health programme, in a research team which will also involve Dr Lindsay Eckley and Madeleine Cochrane of LJMU’s Centre for Public Health.

Blackpool Arts for Health is a social prescribing initiative for adults with mild to moderate mental health issues. Delivered by Blackpool Council’s Arts Service in collaboration with Blackpool Public Health, the programme provides high quality creative workshops which allow participants to build and strengthen social networks, whilst at the same time helping them to learn new skills, increase self-esteem and add meaningfulness to the day.

Through two distinct phases, this research will aim to understand the impact of the present Arts for Health social prescribing programme, comparing it to other recognised good practice models. The evaluation will also seek to understand how the Blackpool model can be improved upon, in addition to identifying new sources of funding that could be used to develop and grow social prescribing work in Blackpool.

The two phases of this work will lead to the production of three documents: a final asset mapping report, outlining where assets are, the work that they do and their impact; a second document on the evaluation of the Blackpool Arts for Health programme; and, finally, a strategic plan for the future sustainability of the service.

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