How cultural experiences can improve health and wellbeing


Boost! Staff well-being programme @ Manchester Museum

During this phase of capital redevelopment and exciting change, as we head towards hello future, we’ve developed a wellbeing programme based around the 6 ways to wellbeing; be active, keep learning, give, connect, take notice and care for the planet.

Change can be scary and unsettling so to counteract this, and create more balance we’ve been running workshops and activities to support our staff and volunteers at the museum to maintain and improve their general wellbeing.

The initial phase of the programme rolled out in February 2018 and up to the end of August, with 15 activities, roughly 47 sessions and a whopping 257 session attendances.

The majority of activities were led by staff members themselves to support their fellow colleagues, utilising skills and interests they already had. We had tap dancing, bhangracise, mindful colouring, shared lunches, sport’s day, walking (or should I say epic hiking as some staff members will agree), therapy in the herbarium, singing in the wellbeing choir, low carbon lunches, kayaking, greenhouse visits, crafting, origami making and some sonic meditation. Phew!

“As a relatively new member of staff, Boost provided the opportunity to get to know different staff from across the museum and also gave a welcomed break in a busy day.”

“I think it has been good; we always like a bit of tea and cake here – any excuse!”

“I was nervous that people wouldn’t want to get involved but I was really pleased that people were up for it :)”



This time round we’re making sure volunteers feel welcome too and for some activities we’re extending our reach to the Manchester Partnership.

The next phase of the programme included a jam packed schedule including more fabulous singing, craft , Yoga, Magic, Massage, countryside walks, wood whittling, tap dancing, Halloween party, sustainable swap shop, a trip to the Christmas markets, meditation and film club.

And the programme is filling up into the New Year, with a women’s wellness pop up, some pet therapy and a decluttering workshop – just to kick off the New Year right.