Background An arts and creativity seed grants programme was developed with the ambition to normalise Advance Care Planning.
Method A Government seed grants programme sought creative responses from communities to reflect on their experience of the pandemic, and plan ahead.
Each group received a grant of up to £2,000 with support to complete their project, which were documented in video, to create a lasting record of their work and impact.
Results Fifteen grants were awarded, to a diverse range of organisations. The success of the projects were attributed to four themes:
Agency – the grant with professional and peer support gave individuals and groups the opportunity to be self directed. ‘It gave us the impetus to do something we’d wanted to do’.
Emotional experimentation - creative practice facilitated safe space for emotional exploration. ‘we talk about the object we hold in our hands as a way to talk about ourselves from a safe distance’ It allows for and enabled necessary uncertainty and ambiguity.
Inclusivity and assets – Building on established relationship, the peer to peer sessions reinforced and celebrated their specific expertise, while making their commitment to the programme public - competitiveness existed alongside social contract
Local Benefit and Mediated Benefit - supporting creativity that is locally beneficial and locally delivered while separately engaging a professional video maker to tell the story of the project plays to each organisation’s strengths.
Conclusions Creativity has been an effective means to build a bridge for communities to engage in advance care planning. The delivery of public health solutions are ultimately geographically specific, while the principles can be generalised. It reflects how, in large scale public health programmes working towards cultural and behavioural change, there is a need for complex informal and less visible social networks to interact with professional services.
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