Fresh Arts is the arts programme for North Bristol NHS Trust at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.  Our Fresh Arts on Referral (FAoR) programme has been running since 2018.

Through it, we offer 6 week long creative arts workshops for patients who live with chronic pain or chronic breathlessness and patients who have experienced cancer.

Our patients all have long term chronic health conditions and they began isolating before many of the rest of the population.  We expect that they'll continue to do so long after many of us see restrictions relaxed.  For those who live alone, it is a particularly lonely and isolating time.

Through creative writing, print making, visual art and poetry, FAoR aims to support patients with chronic long term illness to better self-manage their condition. FAoR alleviates symptoms & promotes self-care through improving symptoms of stress, social isolation & loneliness, boredom, pain, anxiety, and depression. Our sessions focus on physical & mental health and wellbeing, strengthening patients social support networks and will support them to access other cultural organisations through new ways of engagement; remote, digital, virtual, etc.

Thanks to our brilliant artists team, funders and partners, we’re able to continue to offer a creative programme to our patients through online, virtual and remote activities.  We are also looking forward to offering new online programmes for new patients from June 2020 onwards.

At the conclusion of the 6 week programmes we refer patients on to activities in the community led by our partners, creativeShift.  Whilst these are unable to run due to social distancing, creativeShift have also extended their offer online and remotely.

We also run two follow on groups and a weekly Dance for Parkinson's class, both of which are now offered as remote sessions.