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Art, wellbeing and connection with Heather Thomas

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In Episode 92, I’m chatting to Heather Thomas, the Head of Learning and Engagement at the Lightbox Museum and Gallery in Woking, UK.

Heather talks about how their Art and Wellbeing programme of creative and therapeutic workshops provides opportunities for those that would otherwise not be able to access arts and heritage services.

We discuss the guiding principles behind the Lightbox Museum and Gallery’s work in learning and engagement, which has always included helping people with mental health issues or those who are isolated.

We also discuss what the Open Mind project is and how it provides a safe space for individuals to come and learn something new, chat with others and engage with art.

We talk about how Open Mind tours prioritise connection over content and are wholly participant-led, open conversations that take their cues directly from the participants, not the facilitator.

Finally, we talk about the positive outcomes of the programme and the Lightbox’s plans for the future.


Lightbox website:  

Museums Journal (Museums Association UK) article:

Baring report:



If you are struggling, please contact Samaritans

Young Minds website for children and young people: