Changing lives through arts

Independent Arts is an Isle of Wight charity founded in 1987, using the arts to improve wellbeing, quality of life and to reduce social isolation.

Through our work with older people, we address the main issues faced by our ageing community (the Isle of Wight, for example, has the largest percentage of people with dementia in the country).

We have vast experience of delivering a wide range of arts activities. Through our Workshops for Wellbeing programme, we deliver creative work in residential homes and other centres across the Isle of Wight.

Our funded projects allow us to seek new ways to reach people in the community through engagement in the arts and creative activity.

Independent Arts is always looking for potential partnerships, and is keen to make links with other organisations who share a similar ethos to us. We recognise the importance of working in collaboration to achieve the best possible outcomes for those we engage with.

Social Prescribing

Changing lives through art is very much the impetus behind IA. The charity now leads the way on the Island for arts-based social prescribing. Social prescribing is simply where people receive non-medical help to improve their health and wellbeing through activities delivered in a social setting. These activities have measurable outcomes and vary from participating in a singing workshop to improve respiratory health, enjoying a dance class to assist with neurological conditions, to joining an anxiety café to reduce feelings of anxiety and isolation.

About social prescribing

The core principles of social prescribing are that it:

  • is a holistic approach focussing on individual need
  • promotes health and wellbeing and reduces health inequalities in a community setting using non-clinical methods
  • addresses barriers to engagement
  • enables people to play an active part in their care
  • utilises and builds on the local community assets in developing and delivering the service or activity
  • aims to increase people’s control over their health and lives

There is a growing body of evidence that social prescribing reduces pressure on the NHS by directing people to more appropriate services and groups. An evidence summary published by the University of Westminster suggests that where an individual has support through social prescribing, their GP consultations reduce by an average of 28% and A&E attendances by 24%.


Read our annual report

Annual Report

Getting creative with iPads

SingAbout tea-break


We are members of…

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