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Art & Wellbeing

Wellbeing is something that affects us all, and thanks to an influx of self-help guides, courses and retreats on offer, wellbeing has become a bit of a buzzword! Art, creativity and nature all have proven benefits for wellbeing – and YSP offers all three. Our arts and wellbeing programme is for everyone – art lovers and cultural virgins alike

Wellbeing has even become a matter for public health staff, researchers, think tanks and governments as health and wellbeing present economic and social challenges across the UK. We understand, better than ever before, the complex inter-relation between our emotional resilience and our physical health. We know more about how poverty and poor education negatively impact health. Studies prove that exposure to nature and art can improve wellbeing, reduce stress and even extend lifespan.
The New Economics Foundation says that for people to have positive wellbeing they also need: a sense of individual vitality; to undertake activities which are meaningful and/or engaging and which make them feel competent and autonomous; a stock of inner resources to help them cope when things go wrong; and be resilient to changes beyond their immediate control.
At YSP we also believe that relationships with others, a sense of creativity, purpose and connectedness are important – which is why all our Art & Wellbeing events are designed to be inspiring, warm and sociable. We are also strong believers in the healing powers of cake so there’s usually a good portion of that too! We hope to create a programme to stimulate mind, body and soul: daydream and relearn the skill of being idle; escape on flights of fancy; connect with nature and fresh air; invigorate your creativity; have a moment of solace with a sculpture.

Our regular public events are open to all, and any profits generated help support our wider programme, including developing projects to make our offers accessible to those experiencing social, mental, economic or physical barriers. 


We work with local, regional and national partners and funders to develop projects for a range of audiences. Our projects usually build on existing knowledge and experience, and are characterised by an enquiring and reflective approach. We want to stretch our understanding of the ways wellbeing is enhanced at YSP, and gain a deeper understanding of the different factors at play.
We have a unique combination of world class art, outstanding nature and historic landscape, all of which are proven factors in benefitting health and wellbeing – and we are really curious about how these elements interact, and how we can work with this to produce wellbeing experiences, resources and events.
Our funded projects enable us to work with artists, researchers or evaluators to develop and create new projects and events. We have a longstanding partnership with South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust and new partnerships in development with Rotherham Open Arts Rennaissance, Sense and Ashiana Anti Trafficking.


Subject to Change

Subject to Change is a creative project for working aged people from Wakefield with lived experience of mental ill health. Artist Kate Sully is leading this project which incorporates creative activities with sociable lunches. Activities respond to the interests of the group – perhaps upcycling, drawing, making, sculpting, painting with plenty of opportunity for breaks and refreshments. Fortnightly sessions offer regular opportunities to develop friendships, try new things and get to know the art and landscape of YSP.


Walk and Play YSP!

Visiting artists Idit Nathan and Helen Stratford are inviting visitors to join them to explore the Park through walking and playing. This interactive journey around YSP will help participants experience and engage with the Park in fresh, imaginative and even mischievous ways. Walk & Play YSP! follows in the wake of extensive research on how we interact with spaces we inhabit using props, prompts and games. The ‘walkshops’ are specifically designed to evoke memories and stories about play, walking and art. We view ‘walkshop’ participants’ ideas as central to the development of our artwork, which we hope will inspire others to Walk & Play YSP! from October 2017 onwards.

Art & Wellbeing Events

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Dawn Yoga in the Chapel

Dates available until 17 Dec 2017

This dawn practice in the unique setting of the Chapel, will help you emerge into the day revived and ready to enjoy the daylight as we approach the shortest day of the year.   This strong...


Room to Breathe: Four Walks in Four Seasons

13 Jan–22 Sep 2018

Room to Breathe is an opportunity to spend a day at YSP walking, thinking, talking and gaining some insight into the things that are on your mind. There is time for informal talking as we walk as...


Still Looking: Mindfulness and Art

Dates available until 10 Feb 2018

A new way to take a bit of time out for yourself and enjoy experiencing art mindfully. Learn how to use mindfulness practices to move from being a passive observer to more active engagement with...


Members Open Forum

Dates available until 10 Feb 2018

Join the YSP Development team to hear about the latest activity at the Park over tea, coffee and biscuits.   The forum will be preceded by an introduction to Rachel Massey, YSP Arts &...


Art and Social for over 55s

Dates available until 22 Feb 2018

A monthly social event for people aged over 55. Join us for tea or coffee and cake, followed by a look around the exhibitions, a gentle walk, or perhaps a drawing or making activity – you...


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