Create.Connect.Unwind: A creative response to the pandemic for NHS staff well-being

Kim Wiltshire, Dawn Prescott

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This article presents a reflection on the hurdles faced by arts and health organizations during England’s COVID-19 lockdown in 2020–21 through the work of the arts team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Lime Arts. As the pandemic hit, Lime risked being shut down, their premises reallocated and staff redeployed. Convinced that, more than ever, frontline health professionals might benefit from creative workshops, Lime piloted a six-month innovative programme of online creative workshops for MFT staff. Lime then partnered with the Employee Health and Wellbeing Service to take the online workshops across the Trust, creating a new project called Create.Connect.Unwind. The pilot phase ended in May 2022 with a Creativity and Wellbeing Festival at Manchester Royal Infirmary. The authors reflect on this two-year project, considering in retrospect the team response, the participant response and the artwork created as well as the creative perspective behind the project.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Arts and Health
Early online date22 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023


  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Cultural Studies


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