Artsmark & #BeeWell Health and Wellbeing project in Greater Manchester Schools

Curious Minds launched a two-year health and wellbeing pilot programme in seven Greater Manchester schools with Arts Council England funding. The schools have received over £10,000 each in direct contribution to commissioning interventions to improve youth health and well-being in Bolton and Piper Hill, Wigan, and Rochdale and Oldham as well as training and CPD.

Arts Council England and Curious Minds have launched a two-year health and wellbeing pilot programme with schools who are early on their Artsmark.

The project in Greater Manchester will develop arts-focused interventions to support the health and well-being of pupils in schools.

Arts projects shaped as micro-commissions of £1,000 and £7,700 for community neighbourhood projects were allocated per school. 

The project uses the latest data collected from #BeeWell to understand the needs of young people in the school and local area and working with young people the schools.

£70,000 funding

for commissioning great art to support health and wellbeing including £1,000 micro-commission for a school based impact, and a £7,700 allocated to each school to work in partnerships in neighbourhood hubs.


participating from the Greater Manchester Area.


to take part in the Young Health Champions Programme.


benefiting from the programme.


participating in training

Where will this take place?

The schools will be brought together for training and CPD, sharing their Artsmark journey and working collaboratively to commission arts and cultural activities that respond to the needs of the local community.  The Artsmark & #BeeWell Project is focused on creating impact across three neighbourhood hubs which includes:

Bolton & Piper Hill Neighbourhood Hub

Wigan Neighbourhood Hub

Rochdale & Oldham Neighbourhood Hub

Who is involved in this project?

This project is funded through Arts Council England Artsmark and using the ground-breaking research from #Beewell involving teachers, young people and artists across Greater Manchester. We have seven schools participating in the project:

What are the main outcomes of this project?

Training for pupils and CPD for teachers

  • Analysing #BeeWell survey data for decision-making.
  • Preparing teachers for the Royal Society for Public Health Youth Health Champions qualification.
  • Train students and teachers on commissioning arts organisations for health and wellness interventions.
  • Offer wrap around health and wellbeing, impact evaluation, and fundraising CPD.

Health and Wellbeing Cultural Commissioning:

  • Each school will receive a £1,000 micro-commission fund, led by young people's ideas, to be completed by March 2024.
  • • Schools will collaborate in neighbourhood clusters with £7,700 per school to commission community-impacting activities.

The project will also facilitate the building of relationships amongst participating schools in Greater Manchester and partnerships with local communities.

What is happening?

The purpose of this innovative new project is to have a significant impact on the teachers, students, and schools working in their communities. It spans two years and includes essential training and support layers with the goal of making a long-lasting impact on health and wellbeing.

Why are we doing this?

  • The pandemic highlighted the importance of health and wellbeing in education.
  • Supporting health and wellbeing is a high priority for many schools working towards their Artsmark
  • The University of Manchester, Anna Freud Centre, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority are collaborating with #BeeWell, a £2 million program.
  • #BeeWell surveys secondary school students' wellbeing in Greater Manchester, promoting positive change.
  • Pupils from participating schools analysed their school’s and the local neighbourhood #BeeWell data to identify local youth needs and develop arts and health interventions.
  • Schools will collaborate with Curious Minds, arts organisations, and practitioners to provide high-quality arts and cultural activities.
  • Participating schools will offer the Royal Society for Public Health Youth Health Champions level 2 qualification with a creative health focus.

Timeline of the project so far….

The project started in June 2023 and will run for two academic years, completing by June 2025.
  • 7 Jun '23Hack Day

    35 teachers included
  • 22 Jun '23Young Health Champions Training

    13 teachers trained
  • 3 Jul '23Commissioning Training

    30 teachers and young people participating
  • 4 Jul '23Artsmark Commissioning & Wider Journey Training

    9 teachers participating
  • 1 Sep - 30 Dec '23Micro-Commissioning

    £7,000 micro commissioning pot distributed for school-based health & wellbeing impact projects
  • 4 Oct '23Cartwheel Arts: Wellbeing Dominoes Training

    7 participating teachers
  • 18 Oct – 15 Nov 2 ’23Arts in Health & Neurodiversity CPD

    60 teaching artists and teachers participating in a programme of Arts in Health & Neurodiversity CPD
  • 29 Nov '23Programme Day

    13 teachers participating
  • 1 Jan '24 – onwardsNeighbourhood Commissioning

    £53,900 invested in local arts based projects responding to health and wellbeing needs of children and young people
“It's given me lots of inspiration and information which I'm looking forward to taking into my school.”

Hack Day participant

“It has helped us think about how we combine pastoral and cultural development strands.”

Creative Health Champion Train the Trainer participant

“An intimate and calm training day to develop essential skills when working within communities."

Cartwheel Arts CPD participant

“A highlight from this session was the opportunity to hear from other schools and to start initial conversations with our neighbourhood schools”.

Programme Day participant

When will the outcome be shared?

Each neighbourhood commissioning area will be sharing the outcomes of the art projects in community spaces. We will share details of these as they happen.
  • 24 Jun '24Wigan Neighbourhood Sharing

  • Apr '24Rochdale Neighbourhood Sharing

    The project involves creating eight 90-second sound theatre pieces to be shared on digital platforms and in-situ as part of a new Arts, Words, and Wellbeing Garden. Each piece will explore questions related to environmental sustainability, urban green spaces, and the impact of green environments on people's emotions and behaviours. The project aims to create calming, nature-based spaces, encourage social engagement, and promote tolerance and inclusion for young people. Additionally, it seeks to develop student leadership in the arts, raise the visibility of the arts in communities, and showcase creative achievements by young people. The project also aligns with MIND's 'Five Ways of Wellbeing' to encourage engagement through connection, physical activity, giving, learning, and mindfulness.
  • 4 May '24Bolton Neighbourhood Sharing

    The Town of Children project aims to celebrate youth engagement in arts and culture. The project will result in four large window installations in Bolton Town Centre and a large-scale mural called 'Bolton, Town of Children', set to be produced in Bolton town centre in April 2024. Community designs for the mural have been created in sessions led by young people. The project also involves the development of a creative hub for young people in Bolton, designed through youth-led workshops and forums with community input, supported by international artists and local and regional networks. The aim is to visibly celebrate young people's participation in arts and culture in the town and provide them with opportunities to engage in these activities. This initiative also focuses on promoting the creative health of young people, aiming to help them better understand and connect with their emotions, develop a sense of personal identity, and increase their social confidence and collaborative skills. BASECLAN (

of schools participating in the Programme Day strongly agreed they felt connected with Curious Minds and the other schools.

participants from the CPD session with Cartwheel Arts agreed that engaging with this training increased their own wellbeing.

participants from the Hack Day agreed that the session helped them to connect with organisations or groups in their local areas.

schools participating in the Hack Day strongly agreed the conversations during the day helped progress their thinking for their Artsmark #Beewell project.