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Art & Wellbeing

Wellbeing is something that affects us all, and thanks to an influx of self-help guides, courses and retreats on offer, wellbeing has become a bit of a buzzword! Art, creativity and nature all have proven benefits for wellbeing – and YSP offers all three. Our arts and wellbeing programme is for everyone – art lovers and cultural virgins alike.

Wellbeing has even become a matter for public health staff, researchers, think tanks and governments as health and wellbeing present economic and social challenges across the UK. We understand, better than ever before, the complex inter-relation between our emotional resilience and our physical health. We know more about how poverty and poor education negatively impact health. Studies prove that exposure to nature and art can improve wellbeing, reduce stress and even extend lifespan.
The New Economics Foundation says that for people to have positive wellbeing they also need: a sense of individual vitality; to undertake activities which are meaningful and/or engaging and which make them feel competent and autonomous; a stock of inner resources to help them cope when things go wrong; and be resilient to changes beyond their immediate control.
At YSP we also believe that relationships with others, a sense of creativity, purpose and connectedness are important – which is why all our Art & Wellbeing events are designed to be inspiring, warm and sociable. We are also strong believers in the healing powers of cake so there’s usually a good portion of that too! We hope to create a programme to stimulate mind, body and soul: daydream and relearn the skill of being idle; escape on flights of fancy; connect with nature and fresh air; invigorate your creativity; have a moment of solace with a sculpture.

Our regular public events are open to all, and any profits generated help support our wider programme, including developing projects to make our offers accessible to those experiencing social, mental, economic or physical barriers. 


We work with local, regional and national partners and funders to develop projects for a range of audiences. Our projects usually build on existing knowledge and experience, and are characterised by an enquiring and reflective approach. We want to stretch our understanding of the ways wellbeing is enhanced at YSP, and gain a deeper understanding of the different factors at play.
We have a unique combination of world class art, outstanding nature and historic landscape, all of which are proven factors in benefitting health and wellbeing – and we are really curious about how these elements interact, and how we can work with this to produce wellbeing experiences, resources and events.
Our funded projects enable us to work with artists, researchers or evaluators to develop and create new projects and events. We have a longstanding partnership with South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust and new partnerships in development with Rotherham Open Arts Rennaissance, Sense and Ashiana Anti Trafficking.

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith is inspired by contemporary artist Katrina Palmer’s The Coffin Jump (2018) and involves working with women’s centres in West and South Yorkshire this spring and summer. Leap of Faith will explore ways in which women who have experience of trafficking, domestic violence and/or mental ill health can use creative expression and equine assisted therapy to benefit wellbeing and creativity.

Subject to Change

Subject to Change is a creative project for working aged people from Wakefield with lived experience of mental ill health. Artist Kate Sully is leading this project which incorporates creative activities with sociable lunches. Activities respond to the interests of the group – perhaps upcycling, drawing, making, sculpting, painting with plenty of opportunity for breaks and refreshments. Fortnightly sessions offer regular opportunities to develop friendships, try new things and get to know the art and landscape of YSP.


Walk and Play YSP!

Visiting artists Idit Nathan and Helen Stratford are inviting visitors to join them to explore the Park through walking and playing. This interactive journey around YSP will help participants experience and engage with the Park in fresh, imaginative and even mischievous ways. Walk & Play YSP! follows in the wake of extensive research on how we interact with spaces we inhabit using props, prompts and games. The ‘walkshops’ are specifically designed to evoke memories and stories about play, walking and art. We view ‘walkshop’ participants’ ideas as central to the development of our artwork, which we hope will inspire others to Walk & Play YSP! from October 2017 onwards.

Art & Wellbeing Events

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