Stockport Arts & Health: archives
- Stockport Arts & Health
- Archives and manuscripts
About this work
The Stockport Arts & Health archive had to be rescued from destruction upon closure of the programme, and was donated to the Wellcome Library in a state of some disarray. The majority of files were not labelled.
It is catalogued in sections largely determined by 1) a substantial proportion of material relating to a subject or project having remained grouped together within the archive, e.g. SAH Steering Group or MIND Arts Project in Stockport (MAPS), 2) annotation of documents suggesting that material relating to a project was intended to have been filed together, e.g. Reminiscence Art Project or Arts on Prescription or 3) by type of material, e.g. Correspondence or Reports and Plans.
Stockport Arts & Health (SA&H) was established in April 1993 to promote and support arts initiatives within Stockport's health service, including collaboration on joint projects with local borough departments and voluntary organisations.
SA&H was originally based at the Royal Devonshire Hospital, Buxton, where the SPA Arts project had been launched two years earlier; SPA Arts subsequently became a component of SA&H. In 1998 SA&H moved to a former ward at St Thomas Hospital, Stockport, and in 1999 the ward was converted to the Stockport Centre for Arts and Health, an exhibition and workshop space. Stockport Arts & Health closed suddenly in 2006 when its funding was withdrawn.
During its tenure SA&H developed many projects in collaboration with a variety of agencies, including:
'It's a RAP!' Reminiscence Arts Project for older people - a multimedia project working with patients, staff and carers at St Thomas, Cherry Tree and The Meadows hospitals. A collection of poetry and art, entitled Lost Found Time, was generated by this project.
'Arts on Prescription' - a mental health programme in which people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression were referred to art workshops as an alternative to medication. This well-received initiative was rolled out to other NHS areas, including the Isle of Wight.
Primary Care Projects - a series of projects in which artists worked collaboratively with local people and NHS Staff to create artworks for Community and Mental Health Centres.
Hospital Projects - in particular multiple projects at Stepping Hill Hospital, including collaboration with architects, designers, patients, staff and schools on the development of the new Tree House Children's Centre unit.
A number of Arts and Health organisations deposited their collections at Manchester Metropolitan University to form what was known as the Arts for Health archive. In 2015, these papers were donated to Wellcome Library and subsequently divided into the following collections, with a unifying 'ART' prefix in the reference number. These collections are in the process of being catalogued; search the archives catalogue using the collection reference number for further information.