We’re continuing to develop and respond to the challenge of championing creativity during these difficult times, please see our FAQs for further information about our activities and processes.
What is Arts Drop?
Arts Drop is a pioneering initiative developed by the arts charity the Creative Learning Guild, in partnership with Arts & Health Clinician Elaine Burke.
We use a clinically approved framework to work with a wide range of healthcare, social, cultural and other partner organisations to develop arts activities that boost the emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children.
Initally piloted in Calderdale, three different, age-appropriate packs for early years, primary and secondary age groups were developed. Each pack contained 20 activity postcards together with the creative materials needed to complete them as children had few, if any, materials at home and would do activities without adult support. Activities were initially designed in partnership with 27 local statutory and arts organisations / practitioners, who contributed activity ideas which were then developed to fulfil the wellbeing framework created by Elaine for this project.
The 7-principle evidence-based Arts Drop wellbeing framework draws on health research and practice about supporting children’s wellbeing. Each Arts Drop postcard is available for free download from this website and fulfils several principles – they are fun creative activities that seriously support health.
Since March 2020 over 10,000 vulnerable children and young people have benefitted from Arts Drop packs, which have been highlighted as a national exemplar of good practice during COVID by the APPG –Arts, Health and Wellbeing. Our evaluation reports highly positive reach and impacts.
Arts Drop’s unique ingredients of the wellbeing framework and specialist clinical expertise make its model flexible, responsive and much in demand from other partners. Alongside the original Arts Drop, a second Special Educational Needs (SEND) version was developed and distributed in August 2020. And a third version – Nature Arts Drop – was completed in bilingual partnership with Welsh environmental charity, Cambrian Wildwood.
Arts Drop has also received national recognition through our inclusion as a case study for the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance. We were included as one of 50 case studies in England in their report 'How creativity and culture are supporting shielding and vulnerable people at home during Covid-19' presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group for 'Arts, Health & Wellbeing'.
How is Arts Drop funded?
The initial concept and development of Arts Drop was funded by The National Lottery. The pilot of the initiative to the Calderdale region was funded by the Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and Humber IVE, Open Minds service run by Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale.
Since then, through our partnerships with other organisations, a range of other funders have been involved.
Each partner organisation is different, and we work with them to support them to identify funds for their Arts Drop programme.
Who runs Arts Drop?
Arts Drop is run by Arts & Health Specialist Elaine Burke.
Elaine is the original co-founder of Arts Drop, together with the Creative Learning Guild charity, which is now closed.
Elaine Burke is a specialist arts and health consultant, former NHS arts and health manager and art psychotherapist for child, adolescent and family mental health.
How are arts activities created?
We are passionate about using our clinically approved framework to ensure that the arts activities created will boost emotional wellbeing.
Taking this as our foundation, we work with partners to understand the key issues for each Arts Drop target group. We blend your expertise with ours to develop activities that make a real difference to wellbeing. The process is led by Elaine Burke, our Arts & Health Specialist who also oversees our designers to create high quality creative wellbeing activities in collaboration with our partner organisations.
How do I collaborate with Arts Drop?
If you’re an organisation wanting to explore how you could collaborate with us to create an Arts Drop for your target group, we'd love to hear from you.
We will work with you to understand what you need and develop a plan to get there.
What are Arts Drop's Wellbeing Principles?
Every Arts Drop activity is designed by our mental health specialist to purposefully support a specific aspect of wellbeing.
Arts Drop draws on research and health expertise and is guided by 7 key principles* that are proven to help children and young people thrive:
- Connecting with others
- Being physically active
- Learning new skills
- Finding calm & taking notice
- Developing imagination
- Making choices
- Understanding self
Each Arts Drop activity postcard fulfils at least two of these principles. Activities are designed to be emotionally safe and promote mental wellbeing.
*Modeled on the NEF and Children’s Society ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ with additional consideration of the Marmot Review and key child development theory from Bowlby and Piaget