Organised by: The Centre for Heritage, University of Kent

Date: 7-8 June, 2018

Location: The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Learning Lab, Canterbury

Background of the topic:

Social prescribing of arts and culture, in which primary care patients are referred by medical practitioners to community programmes, is increasingly gaining traction within the health services as an alternative or compliment to medications for the enhancement of health and wellbeing.   Beginning with the development of art therapy in the 1940s, social prescribing of arts and culture has now extended to such contexts as museums and heritage sites.  Where health services are pushed to their limits and much of their vital resources being used to address symptoms linked to loneliness, depression, stress and anxiety, the potential benefits to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities from engagement with museums and heritage sites presents a new role for museums and heritage organisations to explore.

What the workshop will include:

This two-day workshop, organised by the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent and funded by the Eastern ARC consortium of UKC, Essex and UEA, has been designed for academics, students and heritage practitioners interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the potential for heritage sites within social prescribing. Attendees are not expected to have prior knowledge or experience of using heritage sites in the context of wellbeing.  The objective of this workshop is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas on how to make best use of our rich heritage to positively impact the wellbeing of visitors and members of our communities. 

The programme will focus on the following topics:

  • The potential for places of heritage to maximise health and wellbeing benefits to local communities and visitors.
  • Programmes in social prescribing currently being run in the UK within museums and heritage sites and the data supporting benefits to participants.
  • The use of digital technology to allow greater access to the health benefits.