About us

Creativity + Science = Healthier Lives

Breathe’s mission is to turn fresh ideas and creativity into practical change for the better.

What makes us unique is the way we collaborate equally across the three sectors of arts, health and science, working with the very best people in each field.

We are delighted to be of the first companies with its roots in arts-in-health to be recognised by organisations such as NHS England for our work. We keep doing it not just for the sake of our own clients but to bring about opportunities for other forward-thinking organisations, and change across the entire healthcare sector.

Breathe’s mission is to turn fresh ideas and creativity into practical change for the better.

What makes us unique is the way we collaborate equally across the three sectors of arts, health and science, working with the very best people in each field.

We are delighted to be one of the first companies with its roots in arts-in-health to be recognised by organisations such as NHS England for our work. We want to keep breaking new ground within healthcare not just for the sake of our clients, but also to bring about opportunities for other forward-thinking organisations, and change across the entire healthcare sector.

We feel what was once considered innovative should become part of the mainstream - innovation and creativity are essential to finding solutions to age-old health problems.

Yvonne Farquharson, Managing Director of Breathe

Our focus is on the individual. Treating ‘the whole person’ is more effective and there is proven value in taking a creative and holistic approach to healthcare and the places where it happens. Our programmes are designed to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone who comes into contact with them.

Breathe offers consultancy services to help, advise and guide others to achieve more. If clinical staff, policy makers and budget-holders are inspired to change their thinking, the arts will become embedded into healthcare.

To help achieve this, we back up our creative approaches with robust clinical research. Our programmes are developed in collaboration with leading healthcare professionals and cultural partners worldwide, then assessed for its medical and economic value. The results speak for themselves.

THE BREATHE STORY

Breathe Arts Health Research began as part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, before becoming a separate social enterprise in 2012. Since then we’ve been designing and delivering arts-in-healthcare programmes that:

  • Improve clinical outcomes for patients
  • Enrich healthcare environments for staff, patients and visitors
  • Offer unique training opportunities

Read more about how we got started and what we’ve done since.

The breathe team

Breathe is run by a highly experienced core team of staff, supported by a board of non-executive directors who meet regularly to review priorities and progress.

YVONNE FARQUHARSON

Founder & Managing Director

Yvonne is a seasoned multi award-winning social entrepreneur who specialises in developing creative programmes to improve healthcare and transform lives.

ROSIE DOW

Interim Director

Rosie is an experienced leader with a background in senior roles within the arts, health and community sectors.

DR DAISY FANCOURT

Research Director

Daisy holds a double first from Oxford, a Masters (with distinction) from King’s College London and a PhD from UCL. Her research focuses on the effects of arts participation on neuroendocrine and immune response.

SKYE SERGEANT

Clinical Lead

Skye did a Masters of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney in 2006 and began her career in paediatrics in Australia before moving to the UK in 2009.

REBECCA JOHNSON

Clinical Lead

After almost a decade working in paediatrics, Rebecca believes it’s important that therapeutic solutions engage and motivate children to better help them cope with the long-term social and physical impact of having a disability.

TIM OSBORN

Project Manager

Tim combines nearly three decades of experience in the health and disability world with his lifelong interest in the arts in his role as Breathe’s Project Manager for Performing Arts.

Hannah Dye

Strategy Manager, Performing Arts

Hannah has ten years’ experience working within the performing arts sector. She has designed and produced a variety of programmes through roles at King’s College London, Candoco Dance Company and Sadler’s Wells.

ADAM SIMMONS

Project Coordinator

Adam has dedicated the majority of his professional life to directly impacting the lives of youth from a diverse range of backgrounds. Prior to joining Breathe he taught in inner-city schools in California, Morocco, and London for seven years.

GRACE END

Office Administrator

Grace holds a BA degree in Arts and Festival Management from London South Bank University. She has enjoyed working for several arts and charitable organisations and in her spare time is a committed dancer.

ANNEGRET MÄRTEN

Freelance Comms Officer

Annegret is a writer, reviewer and podcaster. The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is currently funding her PhD research on German literary monsters.

MARJAN ALEXANDER

Book Keeper

Numbers wizard Marjan has a First Class Honours Degree in Business and Economics. For many years she worked in the City as a sales trader and joined the Breathe team as bookkeeper in 2013.

OUR MAGICIANS

DAVID OWEN QC

David is a Member of The Magic Circle and a leading commercial arbitrator, mediator and barrister.

RICHARD McDOUGALL

One of the founding magicians of Breathe Magic, Richard is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star and a former World Open Champion for Close Up Magic.

DR WILL HOUSTOUN

Will is an award-winning international magician who specialises in consultancy for film and advertising, alongside instruction on the technical and historical aspects of magic.

LAURA LONDON

Laura is a successful magician, compere and sleight of hand artist who performs to a wide range of audiences in an eclectic mix of venues worldwide.

CHRISTOPHER HOWELL

Christopher has extensive experience in international performances in close-up magic, theatrical stage ​magic shows, corporate creativity training and consultancy.

THE BOARD

DAVID OWEN QC

David is a Member of The Magic Circle and a leading commercial arbitrator, mediator and barrister.

JOHN WATT

John has a background in financial services, providing investment analysis to institutional investors.

SUE GALLAGHER

Sue spent 27 years as a Chief Executive and in other senior positions in the NHS working closely with Local Authorities, government departments and independent health and social care businesses.

PATRONS

Jim Carter

Actor and Performer

Jim Carter is a seasoned performer of stage and screen. He is well known for his appearance on Downton Abbey in which he plays the Butler Mr Carson. For over 30 years Jim performed a stage magic act.

Imelda Staunton

Actor and Performer

Imelda Staunton CBE has had a long career on stage, screen and television. Notable screen performances include Vera Drake, for which she won a BAFTA, Maleficent, Pride and Finding Your Feet. She was memorably frightening as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter.

NATALIE RUSHDIE

Soprano

Natalie Rushdie is a classically trained soprano who has sung at world-famous venues including the Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Wembley Stadium and the London Coliseum.

Our Supporters