Posted: Mon 3rd Oct 2022

Wales’ national poet among artists offering virtual ‘cwtsh’ to healthcare workers in winter wellbeing push

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 3rd, 2022

National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa, is one of around 50 artists to have contributed to a new website aiming to use the arts’ restorative power to support NHS and social care staff this winter.

Amid mounting evidence of the positive impact the arts can have on health and wellbeing, ‘Cultural Cwtsh’ was created by the Arts Council of Wales as a thank you from the nation’s art sector to busy NHS and social care staff.

Through short, accessible videos available on demand, professional artists from across Wales have brought to life a range of creative activities – including poetry, juggling, beatboxing, dancing and photography – designed to help health and care staff switch off from work, lift their spirits and boost their wellbeing.

Health and care workers can practice mindfulness through poetry with National Poet of Wales, Hanan Issa; reduce stress and have fun learning to juggle with Rhian Halford from Rhian Circus Cymru; venture outside to make wreaths, mandalas and garden obelisks with artist, Helen Malia; or creative photography with Suzie Larke.

The Cultural Cwtsh, created by the Arts Council of Wales with funding support from Welsh Government, is part of an ongoing programme of partnership work in the field of Arts and Health that aims to raise awareness of the proven wellbeing benefits of engaging in the arts.

It has been designed in consultation with Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW), Social Care Wales, the Welsh NHS Confederation, the Arts and Health Coordinators within each Health Board as well as focus groups of healthcare workers.

Sally Lewis, Programme Manager for Arts, Health and Wellbeing at Arts Council of Wales, said:

“The Cultural Cwtsh is a direct response to the significant challenges and pressures healthcare staff continue to face.”

“The Cwtsh aims to use creativity to boost staff wellbeing by providing comfort, fun, distraction, solace, relaxation, stimulation, an outlet for expression as well as opportunities for people to learn a new skill.”

“We have aimed to create a resource that is as extraordinary as the healthcare staff they are designed for and the content will evolve and be refreshed in response to staff feedback.”

“We hope that a wide range of people working in healthcare will enjoy discovering their own creativity through the Cultural Cwtsh.”

The Cultural Cwtsh can be accessed here:  http://culturalcwtsh.wales

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