Happy 10th Birthday to us! - Breathe

Happy 10th Birthday to us!

Thu 24 Nov 2022

Monday 14th November was a monumental day. We celebrated 10 years of Breathe Arts Health Research. We were honoured to be joined by so many people who have journeyed with us to make Breathe what it is today.

We celebrated, reflected and shared poignant moments with programme participants, staff, volunteers, funders, partner organisations, family and friends. The feeling in the room was one of joy, gratitude, and love. It feels incredible that something that was just an idea 10 years ago, has built so much momentum and has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world.

We would like to say a massive thank you to our friends at Sea Containers London who hosted this special milestone event for us, as a very generous birthday gift. We couldn’t be more thankful to be their ‘Charity Of The Year’ and for their kindness, generosity and support.

Take a moment and breathe…

We premiered our new Decade of Breathe overview film and we can honestly say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We commissioned poet, Arji Manuelpillai, to write a bespoke spoken word narration for this film. Over the summer Arji spoke to the Breathe team, NHS staff, Breathe artists and participants to build a picture of Breathe from different perspectives and then crafted the beautiful poem that is layered over the top. We do hope you love it as much as we do.

Watch our new overview film.

The night was filled with heart-warming speeches from programme participants, staff and artists from across the breadth of Breathe’s work. Our patrons Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton compèred the evening in their usual entertaining and charming way.

Richard McDougall, Breathe Magician, spoke about the impact of Breathe Magic on young people with hemiplegia and how magic can be used as a tool to improve mental health. George Say, a previous Breathe Magic participant and now Ambassador, shared his emotive story, of growing up with hemiplegia and mental health challenges and finding the joy of magic.

Yvonne Farquharson, Breathe Founder & Managing Director, spoke about the highs and the lows (but mainly the highs) from the past decade, our core values which are at the heart of everything we do and shared the most beautiful but heart-breaking letter that was given to her by a patient.

There was music and magic happening in every corner of the room. Breathe Magicians, wandered through the space dazzling people with their magical skills. Breathe Harmony NHS Choir opened the event with a heart-warming performance and Breathe musicians greeted our guests with gorgeous sounds from the violin, guitar and harp.

Edmund Jeffery, Breathe artist, lead a mass sing-along – there was dancing, two-part harmonies, and everyone singing at the top of their voices. If anyone doubted that group singing could have a positive effect on your mood, this was the moment they were proven wrong. The atmosphere was out of this world!

Alan, one of our Breathe Sing participants, wrote a special poem for the event about breathing, singing, laughing, life and thankfulness.

Watch highlights from this milestone event.

Supporting the next 10 years

If you would like to donate in order to support Breathe to survive and thrive for the next ten years, you can do so below.

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