HARP: About Nourish

1 November

In partnership with Arts Council of Wales, Nourish is a strand of the HARP programme, focused on scaling and sustaining. Find out more about what we are looking for in this strand and how to apply. 

In the face of Covid-19 we know good innovations now need support to develop and thrive.

So the HARP Nourish (Scale and Sustain) programme is about collaborating to help - or ‘nourish’ - great arts and health innovations to learn more about their impact and how they might become embedded in health places.


  • Do you have an innovative project that uses the arts in a health setting to support peoples’ health and wellbeing?
  • Does your project seek to address a particular challenge around any of the following areas?
    • supporting the health and care workforce; 
    • building the resilience of people with mental or physical health challenges; and/or
    • improving the health of marginalised, underrepresented or at-risk groups of people
  • Is your project delivered as a partnership from across arts and health or social care organisations?
  • Do you want to work collaboratively with us and other arts and health projects to contribute to what we know about how to grow, embed and sustain arts activities in health and care systems?
  • Are you committed to learning, evaluation and finding new solutions in partnership with others?

If so, the HARP Nourish programme could be for you.

What is the HARP Nourish programme?

HARP (Health, Arts, Research, People) is about innovation, research and learning.  Responding directly to the needs arising out of the pandemic, and recognising that innovation is taking place throughout the sector at the moment, we are aiming to learn more about:

  • How the arts can help health and care systems with their biggest challenges during Covid-19, within the three themes (supporting the health and care workforce; building the resilience of people with mental or physical health challenges; and/or improving the health of marginalised, underrepresented or at-risk groups of people)
  • How to develop high quality, Covid-safe arts activities for peoples’ health and wellbeing that promote equality, diversity and inclusion
  • How impactful arts innovations within health and care settings can grow and survive longer term

What’s involved in participating in the HARP Nourish programme?

Between Jan and Dec 2021, we will work alongside a cohort of 8-10 partnerships as they deliver and develop their ideas, identifying their own goals and challenges which they share with the network of partnerships and work together to make progress on.  Ultimately, the project is about learning - not just on an individual project basis but across the whole cohort.  


Each partnership will work independently on their own goals and impact, supported by a HARP Coach and the Y Lab Research Fellow.  The whole cohort will then also come together 3-4 times across the year to share learning, skills and knowledge in webinars facilitated by the Wales Arts, Health and Wellbeing Network in partnership with Y Lab and the Nesta People Powered Results team. These sessions will be co-designed with the partnerships based on the challenges and assets the cohort identifies themselves.


The focus is on collaborative learning (as well as more technical training where required) - so we will create spaces - whole cohort webinars and more focused topic or theme based groups -  where projects can learn from each other and contribute to a better collective understanding of both delivery and impact of arts and health projects.  Together, we will be looking to the future, identifying what it will take for ideas to survive and grow, and what needs to happen to make this possible.


Since this programme is also a research project, we will work with all projects to observe and measure the outcomes and impact of the programme, both on participants and organisations.


What’s the time commitment?

Other than delivery of your project, participating partnerships will need to commit to around 2-3 hours per month of time with the HARP cohort and team - either via individual coaching sessions, research/impact development, or the whole-cohort webinars.


Grants of up to around £35,000 are available to partnerships, made possible by the Arts Council of Wales, through their Lottery funds for arts and health. Larger amounts may be awarded to 1-2 projects demonstrating exceptional circumstances or scale, and there is no lower limit, so smaller experimental projects are also welcome to apply. We expect all funds to be spent by 31 Mar 2022.


What are the benefits for me and our organisation?

Ultimately, new and better solutions to your current challenges, whatever they may be. Whether you’d like to conduct more relevant or impactful evaluations, support more people, engage health system leaders or a combination of these (or indeed something else), the HARP Nourish programme is designed to help you meet these goals as well as delivering real benefit to your participants.


We know that collaborative innovation is crucial in helping the very best ideas to grow and survive, so the safe and supportive space of the programme will allow you to approach your project’s development by drawing on you and others’ skills, knowledge and networks to get the very best outcome for your project and partners.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for participation your project must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The project is based in Wales, delivering to people who live in Wales
  • The idea is well-formed and has ideally already been tested with participants
  • There is a strong team, with named health, arts and evaluation partners (the latter can be based at one of the partner organisations
  • The project seeks to meet a clear local need in one of the following HARP priority areas in Wales, either:
    • supporting the health and care workforce; 
    • building the resilience of people with mental or physical health challenges; and/or
    • improving the health of marginalised, underrepresented or at-risk groups of people
  • The team is ambitious around impact and has a commitment to learning
  • All partners are committed to long term sustainability and have some early ideas of how this might be possible
  • There is demonstrable leadership support from within the health and care sector 
  • The health place has supplied 10% match funding to the project (this can be in-kind / staff time)
  • 10% of total budget is ring fenced for evaluation/research

We believe there is strength in diversity, so we are looking for a range of projects, and a diverse team of people to take part. All projects will be expected to address equity, diversity and inclusion in their programmes - and applications for projects that target marginalised and at-risk groups as well as the identified priority areas are especially encouraged.


But we don’t have all of this in place yet...

If you haven’t already formed a partnership or tested an idea, it may be more suitable for you to consider applying to take part in the HARP Seed programme.


What’s the application process for HARP Nourish?

There are three stages to the application process:

  1. Expressions of interest closed on Mon 23 November.
  2. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 10 December and invited to a call 14-17 December.
  3. A funding panel will meet to make a final decision, of which you will be notified by the end of January 2020.
  4. Full application forms (with budget and milestones) to be submitted to the HARP team by 18 January 2021
  5. Decisions communicated by 1st February 2021.

The funding panel consists of representatives from Y Lab (Nesta, Cardiff University), Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh NHS Confederation and the Wales Arts, Health and Wellbeing Network Steering Group. They bring perspectives and experience from both the arts and health sectors, as well as academic research.  They will be selecting the cohort of partnerships based on their diversity, their relevance to the HARP programme’s stated priorities, their commitment to the non-financial aspects of the programme (especially learning) and their strength as a team.


Briefing Event

You can catch up on the recent briefing event with the recording below. 

HARP Seed and Nourish Briefing Webinar from

I have a question 

Please take a look at our FAQS. We are here to answer questions and help you explore how your idea or challenge fits with the HARP Programme. Please get in touch with the team by emailing [email protected] 

HARP is delivered by Y Lab in partnership with Arts Council of Wales, the Wales Arts, Health and Wellbeing Network, the Welsh NHS Confederation and Nesta’s People Powered Results team.


Main Image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Image shows three lottery funding logos for Arts Council Wales, National Lottery and Welsh Government