New Cross Party Group Launched

A new Cross Party Group on Arts and Health has been formed by Eluned Morgan at the The National Assembly for Wales to promote and encourage the positive impact of the arts on health and wellbeing.

The Labour Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, who also chairs the group, said, “Artists and organisations working in this field need training, support and investment, and the care sector needs encouragement and respect. This group is in a unique position to bring these two professional worlds together, and make a lasting impact on vulnerable people and broken communities around Wales.”

The group will comprise of artists, politicians and policy makers. In addition to identifying areas of public policy which could be enhanced by arts practices, members will also consider how to reduce loneliness, improve mental health and increase happiness through the mediums of arts and music.

Economy Minister, Ken Skates has also called for greater integration between arts and health, identifying the relationship as a key priority focus area. He said, “I think the two are tied and have the potential to be game-changing in terms of how we shift the health service from an “ill-health service” to a “wellness service”. There’s also a challenge fund, specifically for community arts and community sport, linked to digital inclusion and the development of new talent. Particularly in a country where we are bursting with ability but where resources are often scarce, I think the existence of a challenge fund could help people realise their potential and, indeed, focus on community engagement.”

Arts Council of Wales Chairman, Phil George, further commented, “The Arts Council of Wales wholeheartedly welcomes the creation of this cross-party group and Arts and Health developments are high on our agenda. We already support a significant amount of activity but we want to make a step-change in this crucial area. We believe it’s time to do a major piece of research on the impacts of arts participation on wellbeing, on the economic benefits that we believe will come from growing Arts and Health activity and on particular needs in Wales. “

For additional information on the group, please visit:http://senedd.assembly.wales/mgOutsideBodyDetails.aspx…