AWARD 2019




Arts & Health South West is a learning, advocacy, networking and development organisation. We want more people to experience the arts and culture for the benefit of their health and wellbeing. We provide learning programmes and resources, advocate with decision-makers and funders, deliver networking events, and support the development of partnerships and collaborations.

AHSW first got to know Dr Barnes when he participated in its inaugural ‘Spring School’ in March 2018, a residential opportunity for healthcare professionals, researchers, artists and people with lived experience of ill-health to explore creative approaches to improving wellbeing through experiential learning. Inspired by the professionalism and commitment of the artists he met, Dr Barnes gave his first philanthropic gift of £15 to AHSW’s 2018 Big Give campaign, followed by a further pledge of £100 in 2019. Dr Barnes describes engagement in culture as both a rights and justice issue as well as a health issue. By celebrating the story of his journey to arts philanthropy AHSW hope to encourage other medical professionals to consider the impact the arts can make on the health sector, thus encouraging new supporters as well as deepening engagement in the arts and health movement.


Alex Coulter, Director, Arts & Health South West:

“I am absolutely delighted that Dr John Barnes and Arts & Health South West have been shortlisted for the Achates Individual Philanthropy Award. It’s very exciting! John’s story is wonderful and we hope he will be an inspiration to other health professionals who see the benefits of engagement in the arts for their patients and want to do more to encourage the development of this work. The support of individuals like John is very important because it helps us to grow our networks and relationships and will ultimately lead to more people being able to access arts and cultural activities when they are often at a low ebb and can most benefit.”

Dr John Stephen Barnes MBBS MRCPsych:

“I am delighted to have been nominated for the Achates Prize. My nomination had made me really think about the value and need for philanthropic giving to the Arts.”