On Wednesday I was at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London for a meeting organised by the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. The Alliance is made up of 9 regional arts and health associations across England, including the London Arts and Health Forum which provides the secretariat. The main focus of the Alliance is advocacy, influencing policy makers in relation to arts, health and wellbeing. The Alliance was established to be: an observatory for the sector; a research hub; a coherent voice for the sector; and to raise standards in arts, health and wellbeing practice. Wednesday’s meeting was a small gathering of national organisations involved, in various ways, with arts, health and wellbeing. Because of the regional structure of the Alliance it has not always been easy for organisations working nationally to engage with it. We agreed to try to establish a regular, informal forum for national organisations to feed into the strategic development of the Alliance. The Alliance has been developing an All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing which will hold its first meeting in January 2014. The Alliance is also developing a relationship with the UK Arts and Health Research Network, funded by AHRC, which comprises about 35 researchers. The London Arts and Health Forum runs Creativity and Wellbeing Week in June each year: from June 2014 there will also be events in other parts of the country. The 2014 Creativity and Wellbeing Week is from 4-11 June.
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