We are beginning to offer in-person programmes again to patients, staff, and a range of different groups where it feels appropriate to do so. It’s such an amazing experience to see people engaging and interacting with our programmes in real life. The transition back to in-person has prompted us to reflect on what we have achieved over the last few years. Evaluation is built into everything we do at Breathe Arts Health Research, and during this extraordinary time, it’s never felt more relevant to document and gather evidence of our arts and health programmes.

The pandemic forced us to reimagine how to deliver engaging and holistic programmes that still have significant health and wellbeing benefits for participants. It was a challenging time for all, affecting nearly every aspect of normal life, but it gave us the opportunity to create new and impactful programmes that became a lifeline for so many – providing respite, social connection, and helped to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

The NHS Staff Wellbeing Programme was expanded and adapted during Covid-19 to support NHS staff and give them an outlet to connect with others, combat stress and help to relax and unwind. The online delivery of accessible drawing workshops, online dance classes and Breathe Harmony NHS staff choir was only made possible through the ongoing support and flexibility from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. Since April we were delighted that our resident musicians were granted access to play live music to staff in the Rest & Recharge Zones.

We recently reviewed the impact of the programme, and we are proud to share our findings with you. Please see the infographic below.

Our Breathe Creative Breaks online programme is one year old this week. The weekly workshops offer NHS staff a chance to unwind and reduce anxiety by channelling attention through simple yet absorbing drawing activities. Find out more HERE.