Toolkits, guidance and factsheets

This section contains toolkits, guidance and factsheets that will help you develop cultural and creative programmes in relation to health and wellbeing, including our Thriving Practice model. For evaluation guidance, please see our research and evaluation pages. If you want to find out about social prescribing, we have a dedicated Social Prescribing: Facts & Links page.

Homemade Circus Toolkit

Upswing's Homemade Circus Digital Toolkit is designed to give you "complete confidence to lead circus activities in your care home environment".

Creative Health Toolkit

The Creative Health Toolkit is designed to support Integrated Care Systems to embed creative health. It is a collaboration between the National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) and NHS England Personalised Care Team and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in Gloucestershire; Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin; Suffolk and North East Essex; and West Yorkshire.

Art Tables in Refugee Drop-in Centres

This booklet has been written with people in mind who are interested in setting up an Art Table in a drop-in centre for asylum seekers and refugees.

Arts and Health Evaluation Resource

The Social Biobehavioural Research Group at University College London set out to provide a comprehensive mapping of what evaluation frameworks and toolkits exist to support those wishing to evaluate their arts and health projects. 

Helpful planning documents from the CHWA Conference 2023

Please feel free to use these documents as a template for planning your own creative health events

Climate toolkits

See our separate resource on creativity, climate and health.

Thriving Practice Model

A model developed by the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance with recommendations for practitioners, commissioners, funders, researchers and infrastructure organisations to ensure we are able to effectively use creativity to support mental health.

Health & Wellbeing in Museums toolkit

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge (South East champion for the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance) has launched a new "Health and Wellbeing in Museums Toolkit" which includes a step by step process for setting up wellbeing activities in a museum.

Museums, Health & Social Care resource

A new resource that supports health and social care professionals to use museums as part of a care practice when working with older people has been created by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) and Northumbria University, Newcastle.  

Social prescribing mythbuster

Developed by London Arts and Health and the Greater London Authority to dispel some of the myths surrounding social prescribing in the arts and cultural sector.

Guidance for working online, and online safeguarding

The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance, Arts Marketing Association, 64 Million Artists and Real Ideas have compiled new guidance designed to help anyone working online. It covers two areas: a general guide to meeting online, and how to make the space as welcoming and safe as possible; and online safeguarding if you are working with vulnerable participants or groups.

Power & Privilege in the 21st Century Museum

The report aims to provide practical tools for transforming museums. Power and Privilege in the 21st Century Museum was developed through the Museums Association Transformers: Diversify programme.

Inspiring Learning for All

A self-help improvement framework for museums, libraries and archives that supports organisations to assess strengths, plan improvements, and demonstrate impact. Inspiring Learning for All has been used successfully by many organisations across the UK including the Tate, English Heritage, BBC, the British Museum and the national museums of Wales and Scotland.

Arts and Cultural Commissioning toolkit

Practical advice and learning from people and organisations in Kent who piloted commissioning for wellbeing in 2014.

NHS Commissioning guide

A quick, visual NHS commissioning guide.

Practical guide to engaging with health and wellbeing boards

A useful guide for those who wish to seek support from their local councils. Written by Compact Voice

Leadership Development for Care Home Managers

This tool-kit shares learning from Torbay's leadership programme which was co-designed by local artists, Torbay Council, and participating care home managers to build a strong, supportive community of self- motivated, learning leaders.


Age Friendly Standards for cultural organisations

The Age-Friendly Standards are a national self-assessed accreditation for cultural organisations and a recognised and trusted symbol for older audiences and family groups including older people. Organisations that sign-up to the Age-Friendly Standards value all generations and want to provide a welcoming and positive experience for visitors, regardless of their age.

Socio-Economic Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts: A Toolkit for Employers

Jerwood Arts and the Bridge Group have joined forces for this Toolkit with a mission to look to the future: to support long-term change across the arts sector by sharing knowledge, providing expert support, and encouraging take-up of an intersectional approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.

A Beginner's Guide to Partnerships and Commissioning

A short guide for museums and galleries interested in approaching the health sector in the UK for partnerships and commissioning. Written by the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing.

Navigating the Health Landscape in England: A guide for the voluntary sector working in the criminal justice system

This guide sets out to ‘provide an overview of the health commissioning landscape, explaining the roles of organisations with direct commissioning responsibilities as well as key organisations in a commissioning support role’.

Cultural Commissioning Programme

The Cultural Commissioning Programme works with the arts and cultural sector, commissioners and policy makers to strengthen commissioning of arts and culture, to deliver better outcomes for people and communities. The website includes a range of new resources for arts and cultural organisations and public service commissioners – of particular interest to museums will be the Cultural Commissioning in Practice section.

Understanding commissioning: a practical guide for the culture and sport sector

A guide for people in the culture and sport sector that will help them to understand strategic commissioning in public services and effective community engagement.

Working with Art Therapists

A resource to support Art Therapists working with museums and galleries

Working with Art Therapists and Museums to support Mental Health (video) 



Bringing together Museums and Music Therapy to support Health and Wellbeing

A how to guide produced by the British Association for Music Therapy and the National Alliance for Museums, Health & Wellbeing for music therapists looking to work in partnership with museums to support health and wellbeing.

Dementia-friendly arts guide

A new publication is now available on how arts venues can make their facilities and services more accommodating for people affected by dementia. Suitable for for arts venue managers and staff on making the environment, facilities and programming of arts venues accessible to people with dementia, families and carers. This document is provided by Dementia Friendly Communities.

A pocket guide to arts activities for people with dementia

A pocket guide to arts activities for people with dementia created by Collective Encounters . This document was developed through the process of three years of creative work in Merseyside with the carers of people living with dementia.

Museums Association Dementia Toolkit

A clear, practical guidance on object handling activities in museums with people suffering dementia.


Live life to the full: Dementia friendly Kirklees toolkit

Using the paradigm of Kirklees, get some ideas on creating dementia friendly environments.

Live life to the full: Making Kirklees a dementia friendly place to live

 Using the paradigm of Kirklees, you can get ideas on dementia awareness staff training.

Memories in the Community: Creative Ways with Life Stories A Toolkit

Ideas for ways to use reminiscence and story telling with older people or people living with learning disabilities or sensory impairments developed by Museums in Cambridgeshire.

Museums on prescription: A guide to working with older people

A concise toolkit-style guide (2017) to how to devise and run wellbeing-focused groups for older people in museums.  The recommendations in this guide result from a research project carried out by researchers at University College London and Canterbury Christ
Church University.

Learning for older peoplein care settings

Learning for older people in care settings: A guide for activity coordinators and
care staff written by the National Voice for Lifelong Learning

Open to all: Mental Health and Social Inclusion Awareness Training for Museums and Galleries

Open to All: A Mental Health and Social Inclusion Awareness Training Manual for Museums and Galleries. This was developed through a partnership project involving The Wallace Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, MLA Council, Tate Modern, The University of Nottingham, Lost Artists Club, Nottinghamshire County NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust, Portugal Prints and the National Social Inclusion Programme, part of the National Institute for Mental Health, England (NIMHE). 


Re-imagine: Improving access to the arts, galleries and museums for people with learning difficulties

A 2014 review by Lemons and Crane mapping good practice across museums, galleries and arts organisations, with case studies and recommendations.


Arts in health toolkit: Hospital Based Practice

Created by Arts in Health at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, this is a toolkit that offers insight and practical advice into facilitating art-related activities in adult hospitals.

Working with Hospital Schools: A practical toolkit

This National Portrait Gallery toolkit offers support for museums, galleries and hospital schools looking to collaborate in creative arts partnerships and programmes.

Shifting Perspectives: Opening up museums and galleries to blind and partially sighted people

Shifting Perspectives is a user-focused report published by RNIB exploring methods and challenging mindsets about opening up museums and galleries to blind and partially sighted people.

Putting the Wunder back into the Wunderkammer: Partnership Toolkit

Putting the Wunder back into the Wunderkammer: Practical advice for creating and running a successful, collaborative partnership project between arts and heritage organisations is a toolkit created by Islington Museums. It includes templates for project forms, agreements and case studies.

Heritage and Wellbeing Sharing Day Toolkit

A guide compiled by the West Midlands Age Friendly Museums Network. (Read more about the Age Friendly Museums Network here.)


Age Friendly Museums toolkit

The toolkit includes the Age-Friendly Standards self-assessment checklist.