Funding received for Pathways to Wellbeing

Funding for Pathways to Wellbeing

The Holburne Museum secures £200,000 funding to continue its nationally recognised Pathways to Wellbeing programme

The Holburne Museum is delighted to announce funding for its nationally recognised Pathways to Wellbeing programme from the National Lottery Community Fund and new local partner, the St John’s Foundation.

The grants ensure that the project – which since 2016 has supported over 200 people living with mental health issues, social isolation and homelessness – can continue to develop over the next three years.

Pathways to Wellbeing is an innovative project bringing museums, art galleries and mental health and support organisations together to work in partnership across the city of Bath. Its continuing success has established the Holburne as a leader in the growing area of museums, creativity and wellbeing.

Four different regular Pathways groups meet at the Holburne and partner museums, offering people the chance to try art for the first time and explore their creativity in supported, safe and inspiring spaces. The programme offers long-term support to individuals and recognises that life-transforming change happens over time as trust and confidence are built.

People who may never have stepped inside a museum before have opportunities to learn about their local heritage, exhibit art work in museum settings and get involved in the wider arts community. Programme highlights have been Pathways groups’ ambitious annual installations for Fringe Arts Bath Festival and the Tree of Life mosaic currently on display in Bath Abbey. The Holburne also hosts regular free Creativity and Wellbeing coffee mornings, encouraging people who might not usually visit to find out about the positive health and wellbeing benefits of engaging with museums and the arts.

The Holburne and its partners Bath Preservation Trust, American Museum & Gardens and The Edge at the University of Bath (new for 2019) recognise the important and inspiring role that the arts can play in promoting wellbeing. The programme has been effective in identifying and working with local people who are most able to benefit from engaging with art. This success is built on the strong working relationships forged between the museums and supporting organisations including Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Creativity Works, a National Portfolio Organisation. The new funding (2019 – 2022) will allow the project to extend these opportunities to young men living with mental health issues and those living in rural areas outside the city.

Chris Stephens, the Holburne’s Director said “I am absolutely delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund and St Johns Foundation have recognised the extraordinary importance of our Pathways to Wellbeing project and enabled us to continue and expand our work for a further three years. The Holburne is committed to CHANGING LIVES THROUGH ART and we know from experience that this programme has a positive life-changing impact on its participants and, what’s more, that their close engagement with the Holburne has a huge impact on the Museum and its other visitors. Pathways is at the forefront of what we are as an organisation and I am very pleased that through the generosity of the National Lottery Community Fund and St Johns Foundation we can carry on working in partnership with our friends at Bath Preservation Trust, the American Museum & Gardens and, now, The Edge at the University of Bath.”

Pathways to Wellbeing forms part of the Holburne Museum’s education and community programme which reaches 13,000 local children and adults every year.

Daisy Pitcher from The National Lottery said Pathways to Wellbeing is a fantastic project which has enriched the lives of many people living with mental health issues, social isolation and homelessness in Bath and North East Somerset. The National Lottery Community Fund is proud to support the continuation of the project to increase its reach and impact over the next three years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank players of the National Lottery who have made this possible.”

Claire Dixon, Head of Museums and Deputy Chief Executive, Bath Preservation Trust added “The Pathways to Wellbeing project is at the heart of community engagement across Bath Preservation Trust’s four museums – No.1 Royal Crescent, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, the Museum of Bath Architecture and Beckford’s Tower. Enabling new audiences to enjoy and learn about our collections in a friendly and supportive environment is central to our mission. I am delighted that this successful project will continue to engage people in exciting ways to support their wellbeing and creativity.”


The Holburne Museum
The Holburne’s mission statement is ‘Changing Lives through Art’, signalling its commitment to opening up the enjoyment of art to people of all ages and from every walk of life. The Holburne was founded in 1882 with the gift of Sir William Holburne’s collection of 16th and 17th century Italian and Dutch paintings, silver, sculpture, furniture, porcelain and diverse objets d’art of national and international significance. That founding gift has been augmented with a collection of 18th century paintings by such artists as Gainsborough, Lawrence, Ramsay, Stubbs and Zoffany. Set within the historic Sydney Pleasure Gardens, the Museum reopened in May 2011 after ambitious renovations and with a new, award-winning extension by Eric Parry Architects. The Holburne has since secured a national reputation as an outstanding museum which holds critically acclaimed exhibitions. Its programme of exhibitions, commissions and events sets out to bring to Bath great art of all periods and from around the world, seeking to set the art of the past in dialogue with contemporary practice in exciting and dynamic new ways.

Bath Preservation Trust
The Bath Preservation Trust was set up in 1934 to safeguard the historic city of Bath. Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the only complete city in the UK afforded World Heritage Status. The purposes of the Trust are: to encourage and support the conservation, evolution and enhancement of Bath and its environs within a framework appropriate both to its historic setting and its sustainable future, and to provide educational resources, including museums, which focus on the architectural and historic importance of the city. The Trust receives no statutory funding and is supported by visitor income, grants, legacies, donations and around 1400 members who share a passion for the city and its environs. The Trust also runs four accredited museums in Bath – No.1 Royal Crescent, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, the Museum of Bath Architecture and Beckford’s Tower. They have the support of over 200 volunteers.

The American Museum & Gardens
Relaunched in 2018 as The American Museum & Gardens, Claverton Manor was opened as a museum in 1961 to showcase the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts and promoting Anglo-American understanding. The permanent collection includes more than two hundred historic American quilts, exceptional pieces of Shaker furniture, Native American objects, and two hundred historical maps of the New World from the twelfth century to the Renaissance The museum is set within extensive grounds, which include a newly designed landscape garden, an arboretum of American trees and expansive views across the Limpley Stoke Valley.

The Edge, University of Bath
The Edge is an arts and creativity hub informed by the context and research of the University of Bath. We encourage and nurture arts/research collaborations, providing a place where artists, audiences, researchers and academics can find new perspectives and fertile ground to showcase new thinking and ideas. Here, mechanical engineers meet sculptors interested in moving structures, architects work with artists to shed new light on the nature of play and how architecture influences it, and artists bring together inventing and engineering expertise to create artworks of scientific complexity. Our year-round programme of exhibitions, performing arts presentations, talks, arts classes, family and community events, provide experiences of educational, emotional and intellectual stimulus, all based around our ethos of bringing together arts, research and adventure. Our focus is on participatory programmes and our belief is that everyone can be creative and contribute.

The National Lottery Community Fund
Almost £88 million of #NationalLottery funding has just been shared between thousands of community projects in England. This money raised by National Lottery players will support over 3,000 good causes that help communities to thrive, by tackling issues such as loneliness and isolation.

St Johns Foundation
Since 1174, St John’s has provided support to the people of Bath and the surrounding area. Today, we work to build resilient communities by supporting people to overcome challenges, improve their lives and live as independently as possible. We do this in a manner of ways. We provide quality almshouse accommodation; we award funding support to individuals and charitable organisations; we engage directly with the local community through our Community Outreach Hubs.

For more information, interview and images
Katie Jenkins, the Holburne Museum –