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Mobilising Cultural and Natural Assets to Tackle Health Disparities

Mobilising Cultural and Natural Assets to Tackle Health Disparities

We are pleased to announce that NCCH will host a new research programme looking at how cultural and natural assets can be used to tackle health inequalities, jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The research will be led by NCCH Trustee and Adviser, Helen Chatterjee MBE, Professor of Biology at University College London and Arts and Humanities Research Council Programme Director for Health Disparities.

Building on existing evidence for the benefits of cultural, natural and community assets for health, ‘Mobilising Cultural and Natural Assets to Tackle Health Disparities’ will investigate the opportunities for these assets to be scaled-up and fully embedded in health systems. Findings from several pilot sites across the UK will be synthesised to provide insights into the infrastructures, ecosystems and pathways necessary at systems level to utilise these assets for public health, and support the levelling up agenda. The project will work closely with key partners, and learning will be shared across NCCH networks.

The research is particularly timely given the NHS focus on integrated care, and the introduction of Integrated Care Systems, and will complement NCCH’s work with our existing Hubs which explores the integration of Creative Health at systems level.

More detail on the pilot projects can be found HERE


Updates (Summer 2022)

Earlier this summer the 12 projects currently funded as part of the NCCH-hosted research programme ‘Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities’ met for an online workshop to share their work so far and future plans for their research. The sessions were led by Professor. Helen Chatterjee, and were attended by all project leads and their community partners, NCCH, and directors from the AHRC leadership team.

The projects are diverse in both location and approach, using creative, cultural and natural assets to improve health, including wild swimming, prehistoric cultural heritage and using creative approaches both outside in nature and in galleries and cultural institutions. It was great to hear about the partnerships that have been formed between researchers and community groups, and the impact the work is already having. NCCH are looking forward to seeing how they progress.


Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s (CCI) Fantastical Forest in 2021, created with young artscapers from two Cambridge primary schools. CCI is a partner in the Branching Out research project which will investigate how elements of an established art-in-nature programme can be scaled up to benefit more children.

Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s (CCI) Fantastical Forest in 2021, created with young artscapers from two Cambridge primary schools. CCI is a partner in the Branching Out research project which will investigate how elements of an established art-in-nature programme can be scaled up to benefit more children.

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