Portrait of Dr Kim Wiltshire smiling

News Story

Creative writing expert wins prestigious funding for bringing arts to healthcare settings

Publish date: March 24, 2022

A creative writing academic at Edge Hill University has won prestigious funding for a project which brings the arts to healthcare settings.

Kim Wiltshire
Kim Wiltshire, programme leader for BA Creative Writing at Edge Hill University.

A creative writing academic at Edge Hill University has won prestigious funding for a project which brings the arts to healthcare settings. 

Dr Kim Wiltshire, programme leader for BA Creative Writing, has been awarded a British Academy Innovation Fellowship for her work with Lime Arts, an award-winning charity which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff. 

The Fellowship scheme is providing more than £92,500 in funding which will enable Dr Wiltshire to work with Lime, based within Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), to set up new workshops, reach more people and bring years of evaluations together to create a model of best practice. 

Dr Wiltshire, who has worked as an artist and project manager with Lime for 20 years on “amazing arts and health projects”, said:

“I was surprised and delighted to win this funding.

We’ve always known this is important work but it’s often difficult to find the opportunity, within a project funded to deliver outcomes for participants, to build up models of good practice or to expand the scheme.

“So with this funding we’ll finally be able to spend time bringing all this together to create new insights and form a model for embedding arts in healthcare settings.”

 Lime specialises in developing and managing creative arts projects which have a direct positive impact on staff, whether in the workplace, in Lime’s new state of the art studio based in the Oxford Road Campus, or online. 

Lime director Dawn Prescott said the charity’s creative wellbeing programme for MFT staff had gone from strength to strength since it was set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, delivering more than 130 workshops and activities, and engaging more than 800 NHS staff in a variety of creative writing, visual arts, music and performance art activity. 

“We are delighted to have Kim Wiltshire British Academy Fellow join us at Lime Arts during such a critical time,” she said.

“The BA Innovation Fellowship will enable Lime to now work towards achieving our longer-term vision to embed the arts even deeper into healthcare by developing a model of best practice, with a view to rolling out this vital creative service for NHS keyworkers across the UK.”

Dr Wiltshire added:

“When Covid hit, Lime reacted immediately and moved online for their workshops, with a focus on NHS staff accessing creative activities to engender a general sense of wellbeing.

“I ran some of the creative writing workshops and we realised we could go further when one staff member said how much they enjoyed a Haiku poetry task, calling it a ‘brain holiday’.

“I’m excited to see us reach more people and have a positive impact in more settings and I’m grateful to everyone who helped with my application.”

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