Museums & Wellbeing Week

National  Alliance for Museums, Health & Wellbeing is coordinating the third National Museums & Wellbeing Week from 12-18 March 2018. This will be an opportunity for museums to showcase their health & wellbeing offer and raise awareness of this valuable area of work.

To get involved for 2018 please read, download and fill-in the following form national-museums-and-wellbeing-week-march-2018  and send to Alternatively if you cannot access the word document please read national-museums-and-wellbeing-week-march-2018 and send your event details as described in the form to

Events from last year can be viewed in the calendar and listings below:


Events are listed below by region:


Alexandra Palace
Popular Entertainment at the Palace
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 1.30 – 2.30pm
Venue: Haynes Day Centre
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 11am
Venue: Cissbury Road Library
The activity will be a 1 hour presentation/discussion about music and popular entertainment focusing on the Palace’s time as the birthplace of BBC Television, concerts and activities that have taken place in both the Palace and Park. We will be bringing photos, documents from the archive and handling objects to spark discussion and memories from the group. See here for details

Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Audio Described Tours of Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Date: Friday 10th March
Times: 10.45 – 11.30am and 12.00 – 12.45pm
Location: Bethlem Museum of the Mind
We would like to invite blind and partially sighted visitors for a guided tour of Bethlem Museum of the Mind with Head of Learning and experienced audio describer, Caroline Smith. This would then be followed by a cup of tea and a chat about your experience and to answer any questions you may have. This is a free event. The tour will begin downstairs in the main foyer, next to the statues.
To book please visit here or call 020 3228 4227.

Visual Imaging – Audio Description
Friday 10th March
Time: 2 – 3pm
Location: Bethlem Museum of the Mind
We would like to invite blind and partially sighted visitors for an audio description of Richard Dadd’s “Crazy Jane” with Head of Learning and experienced audio describer, Caroline Smith. This would then be followed by a cup of tea and a chat about your experience and to answer any questions you may have. This is a free event, booking is recommended. Please check in at the museum reception desk, and you will be guided to the room where the event is taking place. The description and discussion will take approximately one hour. To book please visit here or call 020 3228 4227.

Hackney Museum
Madhouse My House Museums and Wellbeing Workshop
Date: Thursday 9th March
Time: 10am – 1pm
Venue: Hackney Museum
Access All Areas is a theatre company that works with adults with learning disabilities. With the support of Hackney Museum and other partners the company has developed an accessible exhibition exploring the history of institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities. Join us during Museums and Wellbeing week for a workshop with Access All Areas to explore their working processes; the use of drama and media in heritage learning; and in making history accessible to people with learning disabilities. Tickets are free but limited please see here for details

Music Matters!
Date: Thursday 9th March
Time: 3 – 4.30pm
Venue: Hands On Base, Horniman Museum
We are a group of music-lovers who meet every week at the Museum to listen to music and learn about musical traditions inspired by the Horniman collections. Join us at our workshops to increase your knowledge and appreciation of music in a warm and inclusive environment. Each week features a different theme where we encouraged participants to discuss and share their thoughts on the music. On Thursday 9 March the theme will be ‘China: The Bejing Opera.’ Workshops are free to attend and open to adults. Free, Drop in, see here for details

Crossing Borders
Date: Saturday 11th March
Time: 11am- 3pm
Venue: Horniman Museum
Join us to celebrate the diversity of our Forest Hill neighbourhood and the people that live here through storytelling, art and craft activities and immersive theatre performances. This annual Crossing Borders event is produced in collaboration with organisations who work with local refugees and asylum seekers. Everyone is welcome. Free, drop in, across the museum, see here for details

Free monthly art workshops at Islington Museum
Date: Friday 10th March
Time: 12.30-3.30pm
Venue: Islington Museum
These monthly art workshops will use the Islington Museum’s fascinating collection and our local heritage as a starting point to get creative with different artistic techniques. Discover Islington’s local history, learn new creative skills and have fun in a friendly, informal and relaxed environment. Each month will be stand alone. All abilities are welcome from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals. These classes are offered in partnership with Islington Adult and Community Learning Service. Classes are for Islington adult residents who are unemployed or receiving benefits.Phone: 020 7527 7988, Email:

Creating Connections East 5
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Venue: Stratford Library
Creating Connections East is a networking event that brings together staff and postgraduate students from University College London and the University of East London with representatives from community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations. The afternoon is a mixture of themed discussions in small groups with more informal networking; the aim is to find areas of common interest and encourage collaborative working. Register here

Creativity and Mental Wellbeing
Dates: Wednesday 8th March & Friday 10th March
Time: 2-5pm
Venue: Wellcome Collection
Free, drop in. How can creativity help us understand mental health? Leave your mark and contribute to our growing collaborative collage. Use fragments of colour and script from Wellcome’s Art and Health collections to explore the role of artistic creativity in understanding wellbeing and mental health.


Engage West Midlands Area Group Meeting
Date: Thursday 9th March
Time: 1 – 4pm
Venue: Burbidge Room, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
How regional arts organisations support people living with dementia & their wellbeing: engage West Midlands Area reps invite members and regional colleagues to an Area Group meeting. The focus of the meeting will be arts programmes for older people and people living with dementia. To book a place or request further information contact West Midlands rep Joanna Essen on Places are limited and need to be booked in advance.

Area Group Meetings are free of charge to engage members, and members from any region are invited to attend. *Non-members are welcome to attend one ‘taster’ meeting for an entrance fee of £5 (non-members who have attended a meeting before please contact engage or visit our website to find out about the benefits of joining engage).

Hedgerows and Harmonies – Traditional Music and Dance
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 11am – 1pm
Venue: Museum of Cannock Chase
Join in with our new free event for people living with dementia and their carers/friends. Take part, enjoy a cup of tea and have a chat whilst you and a friend enjoy a song and dance event based on the nature of Hednesford Hills. Book in advance on 01543 877666

North East

Introduction to Mindfulness
Date: Thursday 9th March
Time: 3.45-4.45pm
Venue: Education Room, Abbey House Museum
With Steve Hart (Leeds Mindfulness and Positive Emotion Enhancement Centre). Suitable for ages 13-21. This event needs to be booked in advance as places are limited (normal museum admission applies for this). Visit here or contact 01133784079 or email

Self-guided Meditative Walks around Kirkstall Abbey Ruins
Date: Every day from Saturday 4th March (closed Mondays)
Time: 10am-4pm
Venue: Kirkstall Abbey
Meditative walks designed by Brahma Kumaris, Leeds. Please pick up your leaflet from the reception desk in Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre.

Meditative Walks
Date: Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March
Time: 11am, 12 noon, 1pm & 2pm
Venue: Kirkstall Abbey Ruins
Departing from Visitor Centre with Leeds Brahma Kumaris. Suitable for all ages.

Mindfulness at the Abbey
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 1.45pm-2.45pm
Venue: Colonel North Room, Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre
With Steve Hart (Leeds Mindfulness and Positive Emotion Enhancement Centre). Suitable for all adults.

Young People’s Workshop – The Female Of The Species
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 4-6pm
Venue: Abbey House Museum
A special one off event for young people aged 13 up to 24 years old to discover our Natural Science collection. Join our amazing Natural Science Curator Rebecca Machin as we explore female animal and flower collections Light snacks provided. Normal museum admission appliesContact: or ring 0113 3784079 to book a place.

Leeds Industrial Museum
Knit and Natter
Date: Saturday 11th March (and every Saturday)
Time: 1 – 4pm
Venue: Leeds Industrial Museum

Spinners of Aire
Date: Wednesday 8th March (and every Wednesday)
Time: 10.30am-2pm
Venue: Leeds Industrial Museum
Wool spinning demonstrations

Colour Garden Volunteer project
Date: Thursday 9th March (and every Thursday)
Time: 2-4pm
Venue: Leeds Industrial Museum
For more information on the above please visit here

Sketch Club
Date: Friday 10th March
Time: 12.30 – 3.30pm
Location: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
Free, no booking required. Take a mindful moment and drop in and draw with us every Friday afternoon. Whether you can stay for ten minutes or the full three hours, the free Gallery Sketch Club is open to everyone and all materials will be provided. Each week, we will have a different ‘Friday Focus’ so you can pull up a stool and enjoy looking at works you may never have noticed before. Use your time to hone your sketching skills, chat with fellow art appreciators or simply indulge your creativity in a calm, inspiring atmosphere. For more details see here

Disabled Access Day & Access Conference
Date: Saturday 11th March
Time: 10am-2.30pm
Venue: Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust
A Free and inclusive open day with an exciting range of activities and talks for both children and adults! Including an autism friendly hour between 10-11am, a sensory and BSL tour of the museum, storytelling and more. For more details see here

The Science of Accessibility: Making Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths Accessible to All
Date: Saturday 11th March
Venue: Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust
Time: 10am-2.30pm
Talks programme throughout the day in Power Lab. For more details see here

York Museums Trust
Have a number of events on all week which includes gallery talks at the York Castle Museum and the York Art Gallery almost every day and Hands on Here projects run by volunteers across all of the sites every day which encourage people to connect, actively discuss and handle objects, to take notice more of objects around the galleries and to keep learning new things, chatting to the volunteers also hopefully will encourage new people to ‘give’ something back and become part of a team with us. Visit here for more information. Here’s the rest of their week’s events:

Volunteer Talk
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 12 noon
Venue: York Castle Museum

Curator Talk
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 12.30pm
Venue: Yorkshire Museum

Sketchbook Circle
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 1.30-3.30pm
Venue: York Art Gallery
Drop-in £5

Drop-in with the Yorkshire Museums Trust Volunteers Team
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 10.00am-3.00pm
Venue: York Castle Museum
To get to know more about the benefits of volunteering.

Tours of York Castle Museum’s Projects
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 11am and 2pm
Venue: York Castle Museum

An Introduction to Mindful Art
Date: Thursday 9th March
Time: 1pm
Venue: York Art Gallery

Painting from Life Course
Date: Saturday 11th March
Time: Tbc
Venue: York Art Gallery
In association with York Learning (bookable £40).

Relaxed Openings
Date: Sunday 12th March
Time: 9.30-11.30am (Castle Museum) and 3-5pm (Yorkshire Museum and York Art Gallery)
Venue: See above for details
For visitors who want a quieter experience across all sites

Queer Sunday
Date: Sunday 12th March
Time: 12-3pm
Venue: York Art Gallery
A culmination of a community project exploring LGBTQI issues.

Gardens Tour
Date: Sunday 12th March
Time: 1-2pm
Venue: York Museum Gardens

Northern Ireland

Remembering the Past
Date: Friday 10th March
Location: Education Space, Tower Museum, Derry
Time: 10.30 – 11.30am
This is a free event where you are invited to bring along items that remind you of your childhood or a special memory from your past and to take part in a sensory reminiscence session featuring strange and wonderful objects from the museum collection.

North West

Family Wellbeing Day with the Wordsworths
Date: Saturday 11 March
Time: 10am-3pm
Venue: Dove Cottage
Step back from the frantic pace of life and focus on your wellbeing as a family in Cumbria’s peaceful heart. We will introduce you to mindfulness as a way of slowing down and appreciating our surroundings. There will be space for a maximum of three families (15-16 people) to take part, please contact Bernadette Calvey as soon as possible on or 015394 35544 to reserve your places.

National Museums Liverpool
Meet Me at the Museum
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 11am – 1pm
Venue: World Museum
Meet me at the museum is a series of free events for older people. Enjoy a nostalgic look back with different themes each session. Everyone is welcome. You can come on your own and make some new friends or bring a pal. There will be free refreshments at the first sessions! Please visit here for details

Tai Chi
Date: Monday 6th March
Time: 2pm
Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery
Take part in a Tai Chi session led by experts from China Spirit. This form of martial art was developed to promote good health, as well as self-defence and involves slow movements and the gentle stretching of muscles in the arms and shoulders.

Emma, Lady Hamilton – A Reassessment
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 2pm
Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery
Join John Michael Corfe, on International Women’s Day, for the remarkable tale of how ‘history’ has unjustly and badly maligned this beautiful, kind and extraordinarily talented woman. Collect a ticket on the day.

Remembering the Past
Date: Friday 10th March
Time: 11am
Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery
Join our friendly Visitor Hosts for a nostalgic look back at the past using images and objects. This month, for museums and wellbeing week, Rachel Byron will lead a sensory reminiscence and art making workshop.

Introduction to Dry-Point Etching
Date: Saturday 11th March
Time: 1-3pm
Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery
Join our Education team for this introductory dry-point etching workshop suitable for adults of all artistic abilities. All materials will be provided. Pre-booking is essential. Tickets available March 1. See here for details

Embroidery Workshop
Date: Sunday 12th March
Time: Tbc
Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery
Join Andie Riley for this embroidery workshop. Create your own contemporary design inspired by our current exhibition Fresh Perspectives: Art from Wirral Schools. Pre booking is essential. Tickets available March 1. See here for details

The University of Manchester Museums
English Corner
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 1- 2.30pm
Venue: Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester
Free English conversation classes using the Museum’s collection as inspiration for discussion. Drop in, free, adult

Open Art Surgery
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 10am -3.30pm
Venue: The Whitworth, The University of Manchester
Open Art Surgery invites you to come along to the gallery and meet some of the arts and health creative practitioners who work with us at the Whitworth and Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester. Discover how these artists work with our collections, how they develop their own practice and what it’s like to work in clinical environments. SOLD OUT

Here and Now with Music Therapist, Rachel Swanick
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 11am -12pm           
Venue: The Whitworth, The University of Manchester
An holistic sense of music and art to connect the physical with the abstract creating a collective experience that connects music art and people.

Tai-Chi for Wellbeing
Date: Wednesday 8th March
Time: 8.30 – 9.30am
Venue: The Whitworth, The University of Manchester
A traditional Chinese internal art for mind and body. Located in the peaceful setting of our Art Garden, Jian Taiji offer 2 qualified instructors at each class, both with knowledge and experience in Chen Tai Chi gained since 1996. No need to book. Cost £5. Participants must arrive at our Park side entrance.  Sessions will take place indoors during bad weather. Comfortable, flat footwear is advised.

Great Escape: Yoga
Date:  Thursday 9th March
Time: 8.30 – 9.45am
Venue: The Whitworth, The University of Manchester
No emails, texts, updates or alerts –yoga that takes full advantage of the Whitworth’s peaceful setting – and some of its wonderful new spaces. No need to book. Cost £5. If the weather is fine, this session will take place in The Art Garden. Please note: Participants must arrive at our park side entrance for 8.30am and bring their own yoga mat.

GROW: Art, Park & Wellbeing
GROW is a project that promotes the benefits of engaging in horticultural activities to improve mental wellbeing of an individual. Working within our beautifully designed Art Garden by landscape garden designer Sarah Price and within Whitworth Park, participants have the opportunity to learn a variety of horticultural techniques and engage with our collections.

The aim of this project is to help individuals to acquire new skills, rebuild confidence and to provide them with the opportunity to engage with others socially in a safe and culturally inspiring environment. The sessions run for ten weeks every Tuesday, from 11am – 1pm

The next programme will begin on Tuesday 14 February and will finish on Tuesday 18 April 2017. For more information on our Grow project, to book a place or to make a referral please contact our Cultural Park Keeper, Francine Hayfron, on 07795 128868.

Sociable craft workshops, produced by and for older people in partnership with Age Friendly Manchester
Fridays, 2pm – 4pm. Free (Except during school holidays)
Clore Learning Studio, all materials supplied.
Come and try your hand at a range of traditional arts and craft skills from; woodblock carving, sculpture, printing, painting and more. Each season we will focus on a different technique with an artist who will introduce and guide you through the processes. Enjoy a cup of tea and a chat as you try these taster sessions, we welcome all skills levels.

South West

Celebrating Wellbeing Coffee Morning
Date: Tuesday 7th March
Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Holburne Museum, Bath
The Holburne’s Pathways to Wellbeing groups are hosting a coffee morning to celebrate Museums and Wellbeing Week at the Holburne Museum, Bath. Local Wellbeing groups are invited. Bring your favourite mug to our coffee and cake morning! The morning includes the chance to enjoy creative activities, go on a mini guided tour, meet and share information about wellbeing groups in the Bath area.

Art Psychotherapists at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucestershire
Are currently planning a third museum-based Art Psychotherapy Group for adults with severe mental health difficulties.  This will take place at the Museum in the Park in Stroud, starting in late April, and will run for 12 weeks.  Participants will use museum objects and exhibitions to inspire self-reflective artmaking within the therapy sessions.  In addition, holding the Group in a museum rather than an NHS building aims to help to combat the stigma of mental health difficulties, and to encourage participants to connect with cultural resources more generally.


5 Responses to Museums & Wellbeing Week

  1. Pingback: Culture, museums and wellbeing |

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  4. Pingback: Madhouse My House Exhibition feedback. – Sensory Objects

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