Sampad have been working with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation (BSMHFT) for the last 6 years as part of the BEDLAM Arts & Wellbeing partnership.  

In April 2024, the BEDLAM partnership were 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 TheatreMidlands Arts Centre and The Red Earth Collective and the 2024 programme will culminate in a showcase in December. Sampad’s programme consists of three separate projects.

Let’s Dance

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

Building on this success, as part of BEDLAM 2024, we will offer year-long weekly dance and movement sessions at three locations for South Asian elders. These sessions will be organised in three blocks of 10 weeks each and co-led by South Asian dance practitioners. The workshops will feature movements from Bharatnatyam, Bhangra, Kathak, and Bollywood, and will be tailored to accommodate different 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 insight and experience in working with elder populations, thereby helping to develop the future workforce. 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. Birmingham MIND operates at various locations across Birmingham, including the Bullring Shopping Centre and the Asian Resource Centre.

We will collaborate with two different hubs, including the men’s group at Birmingham Bullring, 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 collectively 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 are an inclusive social and support group for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers, aiming to provide safe, welcoming monthly meetings in the heart of Birmingham, 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 a series of 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.

We will be updating this page as the projects progress throughout the year.

Image by Irina Mackie

Learn about BEDLAM 2023 here