22nd May 2024

BEDLAM’s Sampad Arts & Wellbeing Partnership: 2024 Programme Kickoff

For the past six years, Sampad has proudly collaborated with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) as part of the BEDLAM Arts & Wellbeing partnership. We are thrilled to announce that in April 2024, the BEDLAM partnership was awarded £196,180 from the Inclusive Communities Fund to deliver the 2024 Arts and Mental Health programme. The BEDLAM Partnership comprises of Sampad, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre, and The Red Earth Collective, with the 2024 programme culminating in a showcase in December.

Here’s a glimpse into Sampad’s three exciting projects for the upcoming year:

Let’s Dance

In October 2023, Sampad successfully conducted a four-week pilot project in collaboration with Apna Ghar, a daycare center for South Asian elders, and Ghulab Ashram Housing, a sheltered housing scheme for South Asian elders. This project introduced participants to the joys and benefits of dancing in later life through weekly workshops led by experienced South Asian dance practitioners.

Building on this success, we are excited to offer weekly dance and movement sessions at three locations, featuring movements from Bharatnatyam, Bhangra, Kathak, and Bollywood. The workshops will be tailored to accommodate various abilities and needs.

Each series of workshops will be co-led by an experienced practitioner and a ‘shadow’ practitioner, providing an opportunity for an experienced dancer to gain valuable insight and experience working with elder populations, thereby helping to develop their own practice. The workshops will take place at Apna Ghar, Green Accord Ashram, and Kalyan Sheltered Housing locations in Birmingham.

Let’s Dance has also been funded by The Big Give. Learn More about that here.

Birmingham Mind

We have established a partnership with Birmingham MIND to deliver a series of workshops at MIND Wellbeing Hubs, which operate at various locations across Birmingham, including the Bullring Shopping Centre and the Asian Resource Centre.

We will collaborate with two different hubs to conduct two sets of 10-week workshop projects. The first four weeks will feature taster sessions in various art forms, while the final six weeks will focus on a single art form. The group will work together to create pieces for the BEDLAM Showcase. The workshops will cover poetry, drawing, collage, weaving, and pottery. Each session will be led by an artist and supported by a Birmingham MIND Community Development Worker to foster ‘safer’ spaces where arts can enhance mental wellbeing.

Journey LGBTQI+ Refugee & Asylum Seeker Group

The Journey Group is an inclusive social and support group for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers, providing safe, welcoming monthly meetings in the heart of Birmingham and offering support throughout their asylum process. Over the past two years, Sampad has commissioned artist Ash Mukherjee to co-create an arts and wellbeing project with this group. Through workshops led by artists and wellbeing practitioners, the project has focused on building life skills and resilience through artistic tools. Workshops have included drama, games, crafts, drawing, and painting. The work has culminated in a presentation to invited family, friends, and stakeholders, celebrating the participants’ journeys.

In 2024, we will build on these foundations and insights from the initial phases to develop an extended project focused on identity, incorporating new elements such as the creation of a soundscape, projection, and Queermap. This project will be developed collaboratively with the members and presented at the BEDLAM Showcase. It will begin with introductory sessions during the monthly Journey Group meetings in May, June, and July 2024, followed by weekly sessions from September, culminating in a presentation at the BEDLAM Showcase in December 2024.

Keep updated on BEDLAM 2024 (and other Sampad activity) by staying in touch.