70 Stories

Janet inspired by the Beaney collections to make figures
Wendy Daws

Sensing Culture

This story shares how The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge are working together with partners and their local visually impaired community to enable more meaningful access to creative and cultural experiences to boost wellbeing, raise awareness and create a more inclusive space.

Kate Smith postcard painting

Kate Smith is an award-winning children’s illustrator/designer and a workshop leader, who has a diagnosis of  ‘Acute and transient Psychotic Disorder’ which was triggered by stress and anxiety in 2005.  Kate was encouraged to make Christmas cards by an Occupational Therapist from the Early Intervention Service in Derbyshire as a coping strategy.

Care To Dance participants

A story by Michelle, sharing the reflections of her family on the role of dance in Rita, her mother’s life, both before and after her diagnosis with dementia.

Creative Directions - Doncaster Community Arts
Doncaster Community Arts

Creative Directions

darts (Doncaster Community Arts) submission of a story that represents personal experiences of the impact of creativity, culture and the arts on health and wellbeing.

Painting by Naomi, called The Great Escape

This story begins with an introduction from Naomi, who shares with us her experiences of being a full-time carer, Mum, nurse and painter and why now is the right time to share her story and her artwork.

Richard celebrating after completing the Great North Run for James Cook Neuro- Rehabilitation Ward 26, Middlesborough ( South Tees Hospital NHS Trust)
South Tees Hospital NHS Trust

“The arts made me look forward, think, engage and stimulate and that had a wealth of benefits. I realised it was something to hold on to.”

Sketch from Beyond the Illness

Excerpts from Beyond The Illness, Art n’ the Human experience by Shanali Perera, MBBS MRCP

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” ~ Aristotle

Abstract red image

A story by Lorna Collins

I have suffered from a number of psychiatric illnesses over the past eighteen years, following a serious Traumatic Brain Injury. I am now very much in recovery.

Shrigley bird singing
Creative Age Programme, Equal Arts

A story by Carole Fotheringham

This is a story about how cultural activities are contributing to healing and enriching my life after a life threatening illness.  How it seems culture, friendship and laughter have the ability to cure all.


A story by Dave Logan, Chair of Parkinson’s UK – Swindon & District Branch, who has lived with Parkinson’s for sixteen years.

I have had Parkinson’s for over 15 years and celebrated my 70th birthday this July.  I have been lucky in that the progressive nature of my Parkinson’s has been slow.  

This has been inspired by the work of the medical staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital – in particular, the ICU staff.

I spun a web and wrapped it round my life;

fine spider silk: the type we’re taught to make.

A sticky weave of working mum and wife;

bespoke design – its cords would never break.

High praise I netted in for such rich yarn;

a gossamer of love cocooned my home,

a strategist at work, a queen of charm;

Power of the Object group meeting

The Beaney’s Power of the Object programme – a dementia & social isolation story


It’s been important to both me and my mum because it’s given Mum the opportunity to come out and do something constructive and it seems to me that she gets some kind of stimulation that lasts for 2 or 3 days afterwards. 

Paul Langley,  Carer

Art image
Mi Mi Media

Photo: Unconventionally Beautiful, MI MI Media


A story by Jenni Burrows.

You’ll Be Fine began as a form of ‘practical mindfulness’ in response to my diagnosis of a rare form of cancer-Primary Cutaneous CD30+ Anaplastic large Cell lymphoma(ALK-).