The arts in health and social care

Our work has been at the forefront of interdisciplinary research, combining social sciences, arts, humanities and practice-led methodology to address key research gaps, and creatively engage with the public and stakeholders. To this end our work has a) improved the evidence base for effective service provision; b) contributed to the development of interdisciplinary methods for evaluating arts activities in dementia care; c) developed creative approaches for practice development; d)  improved awareness and understanding of dementia; e) demonstrated the impact on key health outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers.

Example: The research is reaching people living with dementia and practitioners/providers. We know this because:


Research projects:

‘Creative Conversations': An exploratory study of an arts in health approach to embedding person-centred care and improving communication between care staff and people living with dementia.’ £203,286, Health and Care Research Wales Social Care Award. 01/10/2016 to 31/05/2018 2018 (Kat Algar-Skaife lead investigator, with Gill Windle, John Killick (Dementia Positive), and Flintshire County Council Social Services).  For more information click here

This project explored whether the arts can be used as a tool for helping dementia care staff understand more about dementia and enhance their interactions with the people they care for. For information click here.

Dementia and Imagination: Connecting communities and developing well-being through socially engaged visual arts practice. Arts and Humanities Research Council, £1.2m  July 2013- February 2017 (Gill Windle lead investigator, with Clive Parkinson, Andrew Neman, Vanessa Burholt, Bob Woods, Victoria Tischler, Dave O’Brien, Michael Baber). D&I website.

Evaluation of ‘Zest for Life’, a specialised arts programme for people living with young onset dementia. Age Connects Torfaen £24,952, January 2019-July 2021 (PI Kat-Algar-Skaife).

The Imagination Café. Arts and Humanities Research Council Follow on Fund for Impact and Engagement. £100,000. 1st January 2018-31st December 2018. (GW co-investigator, with Clive Parkinson, Andrew Newman and Victoria Tischler, lead).

Created out of Mind’: Shaping perceptions of dementia through art and science. The Wellcome Trust Residency Hub, £1,087,059.00. October 2016 for 22 months. (Gill Windle, Co-director, with Seb Crutch (lead), Charlie Murphy, Julian West, Philip Ball, Fergus Walsh).

Independent evaluation of cARTrefu: A national arts in care homes participatory and mentoring programme. Age Cymru £24,874. January 2015 – Oct 2017 (Kat Algar-Skaife lead applicant.) Evaluation report launched at National Assembly for Wales in October 2017. Link to reports (Welsh) (English)