Our Impact - Breathe
Our Impact

Our Impact

From newborn babies through to older adults, we work with a diverse range of individuals and communities on a local, national and international level, empowering individuals to live their healthiest lives.

We provide the communities we work with, a set of tools to help them to creatively engage with their own health and wellbeing. Ensuring that all of our programmes are underpinned by scientific research or robust evaluation means that we can measure our impact and ensure we are always making a meaningful change.

Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme

The Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme was created to help young people with hemiplegia (a weakness or paralysis affecting one side of the body as a result of brain injury or stroke) through the art of magic. We use specially designed Breathe Magic tricks to develop hand and arm function, cognitive abilities, self-confidence and independence.

Between 75% and 92% of children have clinically significant improvements in hand function after the Breathe Magic camp.

Find out more about Breathe Magic.


Breathe Magic has been running for 11 years and benefitted children from 10 countries around the world

I have noticed a developing positive identity around his hemiplegia - a topic he was very reluctant to talk about prior to camp, but he will now bring into conversation about his helping hand and doing hand, finding things tricky and needing a bit longer than some other children but in a far more neutral way than his previous expressions of frustration. I would say, in terms of long term emotional health, wellbeing and self-identity this is one of the most valuable outcomes from the Magic Camp.
Katarina, mother of Young Magician Leon, Breathe Magic
At age 7 Ben arrived at the Breathe Magic camp with his hand still fisted, then after three days of this intensive therapy the thumb started to move to the side. Then he was able to open his hand right out, and that is the magic.
Sharon, mother of Young Magician Ben, Breathe Magic Read more


Breathe Melodies for Mums

Based on ground-breaking research from Royal College of Music and Imperial College London, Breathe Melodies for Mums was designed with mum at the heart, to support those who may be experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety and social isolation.

90% of participants experienced an improvement in symptoms of postnatal depression as evidenced by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

Find out more about Breathe Melodies for Mums or check out some recent infographics from our online programme.


Results show participation can lead to recovery of postnatal depression in 73% mothers who take part

Melodies for Mums was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and strengthened me into the person I am today - to know that there were other people there for us not only as mothers but as human beings who needed support and compassion, I will be forever grateful to you all.
Breathe Melodies for Mums Participant
The sessions really increase your energy levels and mood. There was no stigma. We were all just there singing and trying to find ourselves through the music. They reminded me that as a mum, you have to count yourself as important.
Jenny, Breathe Melodies for Mums Participant Read more


Breathe Sing for Lung Health

Originally developed in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS respiratory team, Breathe Sing aims to improve lung health and help manage symptoms through physical warm-ups, vocal exercises and group singing.

100% of participants reported an improvement in their breathlessness levels and 100% of participants reported benefits to their breathing control.

Find out more about Breathe Sing.


80% of Breathe Sing participants who use a blue inhaler reported needing to use it less often since singing regularly

Singing has really made a difference to my lung function - I feel much better after a session. The improvement is significant and long-lasting. The group sessions are really something I look forward to, singing together in a group is really good fun.
Breathe Sing Participant
After the first few months of Breathe Sing I found I could do more in the gym, my breathing was better... I could run further and I could use heavier weights. I wasn't doing anything else, it was the singing that was actually giving me that extra lung capacity.
Alan, Breathe Sing Participant


Breathe Dance for Strength and Balance

Breathe Dance for Strength and Balance is a co-designed programme for older patients with vestibular conditions, recovering from stroke or at risk of falls, that explores the impact of dance to improve strength and balance.

80% of participants saw an increase in their gait (walking) speed.

Find out more about Breathe Dance.


74% of participants saw in increase in their strength and balance measured by a clinical assessment chair stand

I can walk much better and can sit up and down on a chair without holding the sides. I've decided not to have an evening carer anymore because I can do the jobs that she does on my own, and that really is a wonderful experience.
Wendla, Breathe Dance Participant
When I start the class I’m sore but when I finish I feel like I could run out – I feel 30 again. It’s given me confidence and I’ve become friends with the other people taking part.
Breathe Dance Participant


Breathe Harmony NHS Staff Choir

Our Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS staff choir promotes health and wellbeing through the power of singing.

77% of members reported a positive impact on their experience of the healthcare environment through the choir and we have had over 81,000 YouTube views of our single, recorded during COVID-19.

Find out more about Breathe Harmony.


77% of choir members report a positive impact that Breathe Harmony has on their experience of the healthcare environment

Breathe Harmony has been one of the most wonderful musical experiences of my life! I know I will never again find a choir like Breathe Harmony, it has confirmed what a positive effect singing has on my wellbeing.
Ingrid, Breathe Harmony Member
My wife was in ICU at St Thomas’ hospital and our new born in Children’s Intensive Care. Every day for two weeks, the journey between the different units took me past Breathe Harmony choir rehearsals in Central Hall. It’s moments like this that helped me through the darkest times, the power of your music can’t be measured.”
St Thomas' Hospital Visitor


NHS Staff Wellbeing Programme

In the last year we have developed several new online programmes to meet specific needs for NHS staff that had arisen in response to the pandemic. This includes Breathe Dance for Staff Wellbeing and Breathe Creative Breaks amongst others.

73% of Breathe Dance for Staff participants reported a positive impact on their wellbeing.

Find out more about Breathe Dance for Staff Wellbeing and Breathe Creative Breaks.


We worked with over 600 NHS staff during the pandemic in 2020, offering bespoke arts and health programmes to meet staff wellbeing needs

As someone who has physical and mental health conditions, the Breathe Dance classes have helped me to manage many of my symptoms, and have given me something to look forward to and include in my weekly routine whilst spending nearly all my time living and working at home.
Sharon, Guy's and St Thomas' Assistant Service Manager Medical Education
The Breathe Creative Breaks workshops have been fun, creative, taught me skills, relaxed and allowed me to have some time out in an otherwise pressured clinical day. After those 30 minutes I feel much calmer and more positive.
Breathe Creative Breaks Participant


Breathing Spaces – online delivery during the pandemic

Breathing Spaces brings extensive and diverse performances and events to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, to improve health and wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors.

Breathing Spaces online series had a reach of 86,500 on social media and YouTube

Breathe Wellbeing Playlists had a combined reach of 22,800 on social media and YouTube in Dec‘20.


From our weekly public performances, to surprise innovative pop-ups, we contribute to a more welcoming environment across 80 healthcare locations

My first day at Guy's and St Thomas' was marked by chancing upon a wonderful performance in the Atrium, and it was a complete transformation. I'm used to being treated like another cog in the machine, with little or no emphasis on staff wellbeing, and often the conditions are in fact to their significant health detriment. This was a complete change and has marked my infrequent but regularly calm and happy lunchbreaks when I get to see music.... thank you!
Jonathon Broad, Guy's and St Thomas' Medical Doctor Neonatal Unit
I've just experienced some live music on a miserable Monday morning at the Cancer Centre where I have come for my scans. It has made my day!
Helen Head, Patient at Guy's Cancer Centre

Evaluation Report 2020

Read 'Compassionate Care in a Year of Change', a full Evaluation Report on our Performing Arts Programme at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more

By supporting our work, you're enabling us to reach more people with our creative healthcare programmes