The Centenary of Caring Project: A Co-created Public Art Exhibition Expressing how COVID-19 Impacted on Health and Social Care Settings in East Anglia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background: The centenary of caring was a collaborative arts-based project, that combined university students with community-based practitioners, working during the COVID -19 pandemic, across health and social care settings.

Problem Statement: To co-produce artistic expression of the impact and experience of the government enforced lockdowns, exploring what effect this enforced isolation had on local communities’ wellbeing. The proposition was to capture evidence of how creative art engagement can be utilised as a public health strategy, through capturing how those living and working in our care settings had been affected by the pandemic.

Methods: A stakeholder perspective was sought, through including the public, care home residents, health, and social care practitioners, working together with university students and academics, engaged as collaborating partners during early peaks of infection across the UK of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., April – July 2020).

Key Findings: Engaging with creative arts enables an inclusive process from which to promote a positive influence on our social and workplace environments. Few studies using co-production activities have attempted to bridge the gap between focused engagement with creative arts and evidencing this approach as a public mental health strategy.

Contributions: The centenary of caring project promoted positive stakeholder engagement in creative arts engagement for improved psychological expression. The work stimulated cross cultural interest for creative arts engagement, as a public health engagement strategy. Policy implications are for a collaborative approach (between health and higher education institutions) to improve investment in coproduction, through collective arts engagement, as a process for sustaining healthy communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • creative arts engagement
  • community
  • Collaboration
  • Covid-19
  • mental wellbeing

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