Young people throughout the region have been collaborating with artists in a project to improve their mental health and wellbeing, with fantastic results reported for another year.

Arts Lab, a creative wellbeing programme for 10 to 16-year-olds in Cornwall, delivered experiences in youth settings from February to August in 2022 and March to August 2023 with the impact report now published and highlighting significant achievements.

Over 1,700 children from mainstream schools, SEND schools, youth clubs, alternative provision and youth centres have taken part in 417 workshops and 30 community events (plus digital engagement of over 15,000), including: bio-sonification of sound, construction skills, animation, foraging, dance & complex sequencing, parkour, interactive installations, zine-making, pod-casting, magical boxes of health and happiness…and more – including a song created as an anthem for Cornwall Air Ambulance with all income from streams and downloads donated to the charity.

Delivered in partnership between Arts Well and FEAST (part of Creative Kernow), with funding from HeadStart Kernow and The Cornwall Council Wellbeing and Public Health Service, over £150k has been invested to commission 115 local artists, delivering 63 projects, with 248 teachers and/or youth workers supported in helping to deliver these projects.

Olivia Beckwith, development director for Arts Well UK CIC, said: “There is a clear mental and emotional health need amongst young people in Cornwall for fun, connection and exploration, so Arts Lab was created in 2022 to deliver a bespoke wellbeing pilot programme to address this.

“Arts Labs have now been provided in various settings throughout the county over the last two years, from St Just to Callington, with 100% of staff feeling that projects had a positive impact on the young people’s wellbeing. The findings of the 2023 impact report are now available, illustrating that Arts Lab has delivered a wide range of benefits.”