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Creative Future joins The Hera Partnership – a new arts & health programme for Brighton & Hove

16 June 2020

Brighton & Hove City Council have made a major funding award to a charity partnership that puts the arts at the heart of health.

A three-year funding award of nearly £300,000 has been made by the Third Sector Commissioning team to support creative activities across the city for people living with complex or long-term health challenges, which can be accessed for free through their GP surgery.

Hera Programme Director Emma Drew said:

“Arts and culture are a basic right, regardless of your health status – and a healthy life includes creativity. We are so grateful to BHCC for the leadership they have shown in arts and health, and for the vital support, they are providing now.

This funding from BHCC provides a unique opportunity to bring together four of the city’s leading arts & health organisations to form The Hera partnership. The ambition is to deliver an innovative, evidence-based programme of creative workshops, arts & health training, access support for people with low confidence and public events, to show how the special creativity and diversity of our city can benefit health & wellbeing.

Our charity was set up by visionary GP Laura Marshall Andrews, and since 2014 the Hera Project has developed new ways to support people with their physical and mental health, using dance, music, art, photography, creative writing and digital computing. Last year, people engaging in three or more group sessions with us saw an average 41% reduction in their need for GP appointments, according to an evaluation done by a doctor from Brighton & Sussex Medical School.

Coronavirus will not stop us – we have built an online and telephone support system, and are working hard to reach everyone referred to us, regardless of whether they are online or not yet.

By adopting a collaborative approach, the Hera Partnership will harness the unique strengths and expertise that each organisation brings. It will allow us to work with others to build a professional city-wide framework of arts and health activity from which further creative opportunities can evolve. The funding means that, together, we can benefit even more people and significantly increase the impact of the programme.”

The Hera Project at Brighton Health & Wellbeing Centre has been funded by Arts Council England and others to support the health & wellbeing of people living with long-term health issues, or whose health is at risk because of their circumstances. People access the programme through their GP surgery and can refer themselves without having to see a doctor. The support from BHCC means that this support can now be made available through nine locations across the city, including Charter and Trinity Medical Practices and the Substance and Alcohol Misuse Service provided by CGL.

The Partners are:

The Robin Hood Health Foundation is a registered charity that integrates creative activities for people with long-term health concerns into primary care, and all activities are free. It has received funding from Arts Council England, NHS England, trusts and foundations, and public donations. The RHHF is the NHS social prescribing provider for the Goldstone Primary Care Network in Hove. More info: https://www.brightonhealthandwellbeingcentre.co.uk/healing-arts/hera

The Old Market is an established professional arts venue with a varied and high-quality programme and a commitment to being active in its local community. More info: https://www.theoldmarket.com/

Founded in 2007, Creative Future is a bridge from the margins to the mainstream and a catalyst for individual change. We empower people to use their creative talent to change their lives. Providing a platform, professional support and creative training for those who face significant barriers to accessing mainstream arts, including mental health, disability and cultural or socio economic background. Creative Future exists to make the arts more diverse and representative of the world we live in. More info: https://www.creativefuture.org.uk/

Diversity and Ability is an award-winning disabled-led social enterprise paving the way for a future where everyone is welcomed and included. Our support is tailored to the unique needs of the individual, ensuring it’s genuinely empowering. We are particularly keen to highlight the importance of an authentic, intersectional approach to supporting disabled people. More info: https://diversityandability.com/

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