For four years we’ve been tracking the impact arts has on wellbeing. By introducing a measuring system, we can demonstrate how creative activities can really make a difference to how we feel. We use the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing scale (WEMWBs) to measure the programmes effect on wellbeing.
We asked Lisa Blaney, bait’s wellbeing Manager to tell us a bit more.
Why did you adopt this approach to measuring wellbeing?
Lisa: I first came across the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing-Scale when doing research for my interview at bait, over 4 years ago now. The wonderful thing about WEMWBs is it literally takes five minutes to answer the questions, and more importantly it is a valid and reliable tool for monitoring welling at a population level.
What does it tell us?
Lisa: Put simply, it tells us whether what we are doing is working. To see real change takes time – the results show that people who engage in an arts project over a longer period of time show the biggest increase in wellbeing.
Who else uses it?
Lisa: Since introducing WEMWBs, some of our partners have also recognised the value of this approach to measuring wellbeing, and have used the results to evidence the impact of the art on wellbeing when applying for funding.
Why use it?
Northumberland Recovery Partnership team lead, Sam Ruth, explains they see a real difference in their clients when they take part in the arts; "art enables clients to express their feelings and emotions, giving a voice and heart to recovery.”
Find out more?
This project was commissioned by Woodhorn Charitable Trust through the bait programme.
bait is part of the Creative People and Places programme, initiated and funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery.
bait works in partnership to support more people in South East Northumberland to create and take part in inspiring and high quality arts experiences. All projects aim to build a stronger future for the people who live here.