How cultural experiences can improve health and wellbeing

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The Cultural First Aid Kit

The Cultural First Aid Kit was originally developed by Wendy Gallagher, Kate Eggleston-Wertz, Nikki Colclough and Rachel Swanick at The Whitworth & Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester. It was supported by Arts Council England and Trafford Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Our work has been informed by a research project Not So Grim Up North funded by Arts Council England. This research explores how museum and gallery activities can make a difference in terms of health and wellbeing. We would be grateful if you could raise awareness and circulate the resource throughout your networks.

The Cultural First Aid Kit provides 30 creative and fun activities and workshops that can be completed in the comfort of your own home, in hospital or care centres and homes. The activities have been created by artists, musicians and therapists for people to carry out themselves or with family and friends. Creativity can be incorporated into the day to day care and rehabilitation pathways of people and everyone should have the opportunity to access creative and meaningful cultural activity throughout their lives.

The Cultural First Aid Kit is a useful resource for carers, activity co-ordinators, occupational and speech therapists, support workers and volunteers. Each activity aims to offer accessible and creative ways to convalesce and restore health and wellbeing. Easy to follow, step by step instructions guide you through a range of activities. A comprehensive and easy to source list of materials are included too. All activities in the Cultural First Aid Kit have been tried and tested with hospital patients and visitors, health professionals, activity co-ordinators, support workers, carers and volunteers.

Creativity and imaginative activities can be integrated into the day to day care and rehabilitation of people who have survived a stroke, have a diagnosis of dementia or mental health issues.

Creative participation can improve:

  • Upper and lower limb movement
  • Balance
  • Speech
  • Concentration
  • Improve confidence and self esteem
  • Emotional and mental wellbeing
  • Shared experiences

Follow the instructions on the publications page, to download a free copy. We have printed versions too for sale.

If you would like a the printed version, please contact Wendy Gallagher: wendy.gallagher@manchester.ac.uk