Ongoing results from culture, health and wellbeing survey

In April and May 2020, 220 culture, health and wellbeing organisations and practitioners responded to a survey about their work, coordinated by:

Here are some of the survey results:

Who is paying for this work?

Based on 220 responses from organisations and individuals, looking at the preceding financial year:

  • A maximum of 12.9%* of respondents received some of their funding from the NHS - and only 4% received over half of their funding from the NHS. 
  • A maximum of 26.6% received some of their funding from health or hospital charities (only 10.6% received over half from these charities). 
  • A maximum of 39.5% received some funding from local authorities (only 9.5% received over half from local authorities). 
  • The bulk (70%) received funding from Trusts and Foundations. 
  • Just under half of respondents received some individual donations, but on the whole this was a small proportion of funding, with only 13.8% of respondents receiving over 50% of their funding from donations. 32% received some support from corporate fundraising, but this was on the whole a very small proportion and under 10% of the organisations' revenue. Just under half of respondents received some income from trading, but again this was generally a small proportion of revenue.
  • 13.8% of organisations received funding from membership fees.

* allowing for the ‘don’t knows’

graphs showing who is paying for the work


Health and wellbeing focus

Of 220 respondents, who are made up of a mix of organisations and individuals, 78 had no specific focus (beyond general health and wellbeing). Others aimed specifically to impact the following:


31-40 respondents

  • Mental health (in adults and/or children)


21-30 respondents

  • Older people
  • Young people and/or children
  • Dementia


11-20 respondents

  • Disadvantage / Poverty / deprivation
  • Loneliness & isolation
  • SEND / learning difficulties
  • Hospitals & inpatient units


0-10 respondents

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Palliative care / life-limiting illness
  • Refugees / asylum seekers / newly settled in UK
  • Black and ethnically diverse participants
  • Social prescribing / primary care
  • Health or care professionals
  • Abuse and/or Trauma
  • Wellbeing
  • Family (unpaid) carers
  • Babies or toddlers
  • Families
  • Maternal & fetal health
  • Neurodiversity including autism
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Criminal justice
  • Respiratory
  • Prediabetics / diabetics
  • HIV
  • Visually impaired people
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic illness
  • Substance misuse / addiction
  • Cancer
  • Disability
  • Care homes


Size of organisations

Over 55% of respondents employed 5 or less people. At the other end of the scale 17.4% employed 100 or more people.  pie chart showing results

  • 33.5% of respondents employed one person
  • 21.6% employed 2-5 people
  • 10.6% employed 6-14 people
  • 8.7% employed 15-29 people
  • 8.3% employed 30-99 people
  • 17.4% employed 100 or more people


Culture, health and wellbeing spend

Just over a fifth of respondents spent £10,000 or less on culture, health and wellbeing activity. Under 1% (2 organisations) noted a spend of really substantial sums (£1.5m or more), via libraries services benefitting 20,000 people in each case. The largest proportion of respondents (66 = 30%) spent between £50,000 and £499,000.

bar chart setting out variation in spend

Covid-related results

 1. How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the delivery of your services or projects? (tick all that apply) - 217 responses

  • All our work is on hold = 30%
  • Some of our work is on hold = 43%
  • Our work is continuing, but we are changing how we deliver = 45%
  • We have furloughed staff = 15%
  • Work continues as normal with no changes = 0%

“An uncertain future, means lots of pressure on staff to imagine multiple scenarios”

“Could be positive in terms of establishing new ways of communicating but need to guard against exclusion of minority groups who cannot access the tech.”

“interesting to see some of our programmes have much higher numbers of participants online than in the museum setting”


2. How has the Covid-19 crisis affected your funding for CHW work? - 217 responses

  • We have lost fundraising income = 31%
  • We’ve lost ticketing / audience income = 33%
  • A fund we were going to apply to has closed = 33%
  • Lost bookings = 24%
  • No financial impact = 15%


3. How optimistic do you feel about the future of culture, health and wellbeing services in the UK at the moment?

pie chart showing responses, the biggest section being somewhat optimistic at 44%

“People seem to value the arts more but obviously it's more difficult to access.”

“Are the arts and culture still considered a nice to have rather than a necessity?”


4. What sort of things do you think will help strengthen culture, health and wellbeing as a sector in the future? (tick all that apply) 217 responses

  • Mapping exercises (like this one) = 51%
  • Networking and support = 63%
  • Research = 58%
  • Policy work / advocacy = 58%
  • Innovation: thinking about new ways of working = 87%


Cultural focus

cultural focus bar chart

Respondents were able to tick multiple responses.

The picture here is very mixed, with visual arts and music dominating but only by small margins. 12.5% of respondents had a specific focus on visual art, just over 11% on music, and just over 10% on the creative arts therapies, with creative writing, theatre poetry/spoken word and dance all between 7% and 8.6%. Very few people identified "participatory arts" specifically but it's very likely this is implicit in many respondents' practice.

Altogether, museums, heritage and galleries represented 33.5% of respondents.