Research café: ‘A Journey with Two Maps’: practice-based research and creative interventions for well-being at Contact

Research café: ‘A Journey with Two Maps’: practice-based research and creative interventions for well-being
14th June 2023

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Exterior image of Contact Theatre on Oxford Road Corridor
Contact Theatre

Join Creative Manchester for an informal lunch event exploring the potential, possibilities and challenges of creative writing and other arts interventions in the context of healthcare workplace settings.

From the Social Prescribing Movement to numerous studies corroborating the positive impact of expressive writing on both mental and physical health, creative interventions are being widely used as a tool for well-being in healthcare settings. Creative writing, in particular, is accessible and highly adaptable, and whether used in a group or by individuals, can enhance ‘our ability to travel well through life’.

Hear about recent research by Creative Manchester’s Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Rebecca Hurst, who will consider what creative writing for well-being means in the era of ‘permacrisis’, particularly in the context of demanding and stressful workplaces, and how poetry-writing as a research methodology can help interrogate and contextualise more accustomed forms of evaluation.

Rebecca will be in conversation with Kim Wiltshire (Reader in Creative Writing, English and Creative Arts at Edge Hill University and a British Academy Innovation Fellow) whose research is centred on ways in which the arts can be embedded into healthcare settings, working with frontline staff, and Kim Moore (Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University), who is currently a writer-in-residence at Trafford General Hospital, where she supports health workers to tell their NHS stories in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the NHS this year.

The event will be chaired by Dawn Prescott, Director of Lime Art, the Manchester Foundation NHS Trust’s arts and health organisation.


Dr Rebecca Hurst is a writer, opera-maker, illustrator and researcher based in Greater Manchester. Her poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Carcanet’s New Poetries VIII. She is the author of a poetry pamphlet, The Fox’s Wedding (Emma Press, 2022). Rebecca has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester, and is currently a Creative Manchester post-doctoral fellow. Recent work commissioned for performance includes Voices of the Sands, with composer Michael Betteridge (touring England in 2023); The Alchemical Kitchen, with composer Lucy Armstrong for the Cambridge Philharmonic; and Looking West, with composer Julian Philips. A revival of Music & the Brain, a chamber opera written with Icelandic composer Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson, toured the UK and Scandinavia in 2021-22. Rebecca is co-founder of the Voicings Collective, an ensemble that devises new music theatre and teaches creative writing in schools, universities, museums, and the community.

Dr Kim Wiltshire is a creative and critical writer based in Greater Manchester; she is a Reader and Programme Leader for Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. She has worked in Arts and Health for nearly twenty years, starting at Lime Arts as a Lead Artist in 2004. Between March 2022 and July 2023 she is a British Academy Innovation Fellow, partnering with Lime to explore how the arts can be embedded successfully into healthcare settings.

Kim’s creative work is always grounded in social inequality issues, and her plays Polarised for Burnley Youth Theatre, Project XXX and The Value of Nothing (both published by Aurora Metro) all focus on a contemporary social issue. She also co-authored Scenes from the Revolution for Pluto Press, a collection of essays exploring fifty years of political theatre. She has a range of short fiction published, including ‘The Rose Seller’ in Cultureword’s Migration Stories, as well as academic articles in publications such as The Journal of Applied Arts and Health and Short Fiction in Practice and Theory.

Kim teaches creative writing in universities, schools and the community as well as in healthcare settings; from 2005 she was Community Arts Project Manager for Lime for five years and ran a range of award-winning projects including the Pathways Mental Health programme, the Juice programme (funded by Comic Relief and focusing on young people and alcohol use) and a Cystic Fibrosis Transitions project which was funded by Children in Need. Kim’s current focus is a series of verbatim works set to music, co-created with MFT nurses, alongside the strategic research work for the pioneering staff arts referral programme from Lime, called Create+.

Kim Moore is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. A hybrid book of lyric essays and poetry Are You Judging Me Yet? Poetry and Everyday Sexism was published by Seren in March 2023. Her pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2011 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. Her first collection The Art of Falling (Seren 2015) won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married (Seren, 2021) won the 2022 Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her first non-fiction book What The Trumpet Taught Me was published by Smith/Doorstop in May 2022.

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