Community, culture and health ecosystems

This research - adapting, expanding and embedding community and culture into health ecosystems (abbreviated to Arts and Culture in Health Ecosystems, or ARCHES) - was led by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with Dr Janet Harris, Social Life and Locality. It aimed to explore what works for connecting community anchor organisations, delivering arts and cultural activities and/ or managing natural and community assets in areas of social deprivation to the wider public health system.

Drawing on examples from Bedford, Halifax, Birmingham and London, the report highlights the vital role community organisations play in the improving the health and wellbeing of their communities. These organisations offer inclusive and culturally competent, person-centred support. Often founded and operated by passionate local people, they foster partnerships with businesses, local government, and community leaders to maximise their impact.

A guide for commissioners was also written to help take forward what was learnt from the reserach.

The research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and National Centre for Creative Health.