It’s a kind of magic - Breathe

It’s a kind of magic

Tue 28 Sep 2021

Prestigious award for Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme.

We’re incredibly proud to announce that on 6 September our pioneering Breathe Magic programme was awarded the inaugural Martin Chapender Award at The Magic Circle Awards 2021. This award recognises the use of magic to make a positive impact on society beyond pure entertainment and was one of the highlights of the magical night, hosted online by the recently elected President of The Magic Circle, Megan Swann.

“The Magic Circle have supported us and believed in our work since day one. We are so grateful for the recognition that this award gives our work within the magic community and to be the inaugural winners of this important new award, makes it even more special.”
Yvonne Farquharson, Founder & Managing Director at Breathe Arts Health Research

The Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy programme was developed collaboratively with magicians from The Magic Circle and occupational therapists, the programme helps children and young people with hemiplegia (a weakness or paralysis affecting one side of the body following a stroke or brain injury). Participants work with specially designed tricks that develop hand and arm function, cognitive abilities, self-confidence, and, just as importantly, have a lot of fun in the process!  

Based on world-class research, these young people have access to 78 hours of 1-to-1 magic therapy, tailored to their individual needs, resulting in a marked increase in bi-manual (two-handed) activity (the affected hand was reported to be used in 72% of bi-manual activities before the programme and 93% after) as well as some seriously impressive magic! 

 As a result of all this brilliant work, Breathe Magic has been selected as a case study of good evidence and practice in the World Health Organisation’s report 

“Being a part of the Breathe Magic team is without a doubt and singlehandedly the most joyful and rewarding part of my life. We have known from day one just how life-changing and important the Breathe Magic work is - awards like this show us how truly magical the programme is, through the eyes of others.”

We are delighted to have been presented with The Martin Chapender award.  Martin Chapender (1879 – 1905) was one of the most gifted magicians of his age. He was known for his sleight of hand work with billiard balls and cards and was one of the founding members of the society. The society was originally intended to be called the ‘Martin Chapender Club’, in memory of the polished young magician, who died at the age of just 25, but it was agreed that the name ‘Magic Circle’, which shares his initials, would be more fitting. Either way, his impact on the world of magic is hard to underestimate, and winning his eponymous award is a huge honour for us.    

We’re particularly proud to have been given the award this year during such a difficult time for the programme. The challenges of delivering world-class arts and health programmes during a global pandemic have been considerable but, with the support of our magicians, we adapted our Breathe Magic programmes to an online format and for a range of new patient groups and communities. This meant we were able to reach many more vulnerable groups who would have been even more isolated due to the pandemic.  

For more information about our Breathe Magic programmes, please click here or get in touch with us by email –