Framework for Success: sharing Hertfordshire's culture and wellbeing good practice.  Please note we are still adding information to this section.

Thursday 16th March 2017

Following the half day seminar in June 2016, Evaluating Arts and Wellbeing: developing a Hertfordshire Approach, which looked at current research and evaluation methodology, this event aimed to:

  • Look at examples of good practice involving culture and wellbeing in Hertfordshire
  • Share ideas, questions, resources and experience of creating and running culture and wellbeing projects
  • Find out more about the Hertfordshire Public Health Evaluation Framework


Introduction to the day -  Elaine Johnson, Arts Development Officer, Three Rivers District Council

Welcome - Jim McManus, Director of Public Health Hertfordshire.  

Jim suggested that over the next few years Public Health needs to:

  • Create an array of non-medical activities which residents can take up that have tangible/measurable impact on wellbeing;
  • Build a culture of getting people out of GPs surgeries, and onto walking, moving, exercise and physical activity. [6 million people in UK have some form of addiction to prescription medication].
  • Build a culture of looking after ourselves much more.

All of which the cultural sector can make a valuable contribution to. He also endorsed the development of the Hertfordshire Evaluation Framework which is needed to demonstrate impact to national and regional funders. The NHS will need to pay out for services at some point.

Hertfordshire Evaluation Model: Jo Mackenzie, Public Health Analyst, Hertfordshire Public Health.

Jo stressed that we need to “show the success of our interventions. She talked through the key considerations in planning the evaluation of culture and wellbeing projects.

For a copy of the guidelines please click below:

 Public Health (PH) can offer advice on conducting evaluation, and online training tools through the Public Health website:

There will also be an online library of completed evaluation reports. If you want to add an evaluation report please contact Jo Mackenzie via the website.


 Each workshop ran twice and had three presenters, who were asked to present for 5 minutes, and a moderator.

Promoting positive mental health in young people:

Stuart Mullins: Freefall (project with young carers):

Young carers are children taking responsibility for an adult. There are circ 3000 young carers in Hertfordshire. Freefall is a production touring secondary schools which aimed to help pupils come forward and say if they thought they were young carers. Theatre can help celebrate what a young person does and help them use their imagination to cope with difficult situations at home.

We have attached below a short press release which outlines the immediate impact of Freefall in Hertfordshire

Corina Best: VIVID Teen

Vivid Teen is a 36 week (3-term) programme for girls aged 12-16 focused upon instilling a strong sense of self by using dance, fitness and awareness of natural beauty and style. The project is linked to sport and the ‘We Move She Moves’ sport England grant programme.

We have attached below the presentation and a short film:

 Mel Boda:  Electric Umbrella (UE)

UE is a regular social activity and club night for adults with learning disabilities with  a diverse programme of events and opportunities for everyone to demonstrate their ability. Working together to create, experience and perform music through regular workshops, performances in pubs, studios, theatres, festivals, live radio and everything in between.  UE was set up  to address a need for activities for adults with learning disabilities.  

We have attached a short film.:

Main points coming from discussion:

  • Cultural activities empower participants.
  • Celebrate what a young person can do
  • A clear structure and outcomes for the activity helps young people to join in and stay with it.
  • Consider the difference between ‘therapies’ (such as Music, Art, Dance, Play etc) and the ‘therapeutic use of music/dance/art’
  • Recognise the value of a regular social activity
  • Participants gain more from working with professionals in their field
  • Organisations to consider:
  • Move away from relying on funding
  • Look for clients to be referred from other routes
  • Be able to talk in terms of wellbeing – use key terms from the health sector and your impact
  • Refer between agencies / other activity providers
  • Who are your advocates? Who needs to know about your activities? (e.g. neighbourhood officers at housing associations and councils; PCSOs).

Working with older people:

Carrie Washington: Improvising Generations

Project involved young people, including some with learning disabilities, and older people and took place over the February 2017 half term. The younger people were involved in skills development in the morning and then all participants came together in the afternoon. All had some previous experience of dance.  In a future project all the participants would work together all the time. This point chimed with one Michael Davidson made in his presentation about the importance of offering choice to the participants and working with that, rather than them being expected to fall in with the way a project had been set up.

Please find presentation and link to short film below:

Michael Davidson: Musical Memory Box

This project involved two groups of older people living in 2 housing association residencies in Hertford, 2 community musicians and a group of music technology students from East Herts College. The project was run by Hertfordshire Music Service with financial support from East Herts Council from January to April 2016 and involved music and reminiscence which resulted in a final sharing event and original songs based on the participants’ memories.

Please find presentation attached below:

Jan Gough: Age UK Hertfordshire

Jan gave a presentation about the new Community Dementia Support Services that a partnership of 8 groups will be running in Hertfordshire from 1st June 2017. Across the county 10 week projects, offering a range of activities, will be set up where people can meet in a group. Each district will have a dedicated locality worker and the projects/activities will be offered at weekends and in the evenings.  At the end of the 10 weeks, participants will join a new local group that will carry on working with them.  There will be training opportunities for organisations to support this delivery.  

Main points coming from discussion:

  • It was agreed that it was helpful to have one evaluation system both because it allowed outcomes to be compared and a bank of knowledge developed but also because people wouldn’t have to justify wanting to carry out evaluation work.
  • It is important to record costs so that others looking at it can see how much a project cost in total and what the volunteer input or in-kind elements were worth as well as the financial element. This costing should include money, time, venue cost/value, volunteer time and input, evaluation, in-kind support and planning time. In other words, all the costs that helped make a project possible or sustainable. This might be harder to collect on a larger or longer term project.
  • It would be useful to have a system of accreditation for artists and organisations that AgeUK projects, and probably others, could work with.
  • How can evaluation be adapted for or used with particular groups such as those with dementia or learning difficulties, those facing a restricted life expectancy as well as those who are illiterate. One suggestion was through film or other digital means. How can these evidence resources be added to the report information that will build up through using the Hertfordshire Evaluation Model and does Public Health have plans to address this?

Combating Isolation and Loneliness:

Andy Nazer: The Loneliness project

This is a new community organisation supporting those who experience social isolation and loneliness in Hertfordshire to reconnect with their community.

We have attached below the presentation.

Miranda Quinney: Sharing Stories

Sharing Stories for Wellbeing is a storytelling programme created by Miranda Quinney and piloted in 2010 at Peace Hospice Care, Watford. They run ‘Train the Trainer’ workshops to provide clinicians and healthcare professionals with the skills to run biographical story sharing workshops in their palliative care environment. In 2015, working in partnership with Hospice UK, we made the training available nationwide. 110 palliative care practitioners representing 31 hospices have been trained to date. The goal is to enable each hospice in the UK to have access to a trained biographical workshop facilitator. The work was evaluated by the University of Northampton and shared at the Hospice UK national Conference.

We have attached below more information on the project:

Lynne Misner: Small Acts of Kindness

A charitable social enterprise sourcing and distributing gifts to older people in Hertfordshire.  One in five over 65s spend their waking day alone. 1,154,800 people live in Hertfordshire and more than 248,000 are over 60. This means that today, in Hertfordshire over 49,000 older people are spending the day alone. Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  Finding ways to prevent and alleviate loneliness and social isolation are vital. They enable older people to remain as independent and healthy as possible and can change people’s lives. We have attached below the presentation:

Main points coming from discussion:

  • How do we engage communities with those who are lonely?
  • How do we make people aware of the inter-generational aspect of loneliness, which isn’t only confined to the old?

Working with Marginalised Communities:

Sherrie Smith: GATE Hertfordshire

GATE represents Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities in Hertfordshire. Working alongside GRT communities across Herts to promote a better understanding of the history, culture and lifestyles of Gypsies and Travellers.  The organisation promotes activities to foster understanding between GRT and the wider community in Hertfordshire and seek to develop the capacity and skills of GRT individuals in such a way that they are better able to identify and help meet their needs and to participate more fully in society.  GATE work with victims of hate crime within Gypsy and Traveller communities, supporting victims and encouraging reporting of hate crime incidents.   

For more information please go to:

Matt Caro: Elstree and Borehamwood Museum

Elstree and Borehamwood Museum is an independent local history museum which opened its doors in 2000. It evolved out of a community history project with a small collection of objects and photographs. Run entirely by volunteers, the museum has acquired a large collection of items leading to the production of themed displays, talks, workshops for schools and local community groups and answering a busy enquiry service. The presentation highlighted two community projects for older people:

From Village to Town - Celebrating a century of Migration in Elstree and Borehamwood

Going down the Village – Reminiscence for the Over 60’s

Katie Tyssen: art HPFT

In 2015 Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust invited people with a lived experience of using mental health or specialist learning disability services to send in photographs of their produced art. An Art Panel comprising service users, carers and staff selected art from the applications to display in HPFT's newly refurbished buildings across Hertfordshire. The Trust has purchased and framed the art which will be rotated around its buildings every 6 months, so service users, staff and visitors see a change in the art displayed.

Please find a copy of the presentation below:

Main points coming from discussion:

  • Don’t use the term marginalised communities as many communities don’t see themselves as marginalised. ‘Hard to reach’ is better.
  • Developing personal contacts within the community is helpful. You need the community champions.
  • Be careful about the use of language. Labelling is not useful
  • Set up projects communities can continue to run themselves.
  • Understand the importance of respecting and maintaining the culture of the community.


Main points coming from discussion:

  • Someone raised the question of the time associated with analysing evaluation data and the burden it might put on smaller groups. Jo McKenzie is aware of this and is working on how this can be addressed and would welcome comment and suggestions.
  • A guide for thematic analysis is being produced as well as guides on how to run a focus and write a case study. Again if there are any other areas that would benefit from this type of guidance, Jo would like to know.
  • One person asked if there was any Hertfordshire County Council staff resource that could be used to offer training expertise to organisations around this evaluation work as sometimes written documents alone may not be the easiest way of understanding what is required. Jo said it may be possible to develop training if there was a demand for it.
  • Sherrie Smith the Project Coordinator from the Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment Herts organisation said her organisation would be happy to discuss developing evaluation techniques for hard to reach or groups with poor literacy skills. Her contact is