Heritage and Well-being: Creating Healthier Societies Through Heritage

British Academy Small Grant (SRG1819\190822): £9854 awarded in 2019 was derived from the Academy’s partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Chittick Fund and the Albert Reckitt Fund.

 Principle Investigator: Dr Faye Sayer

Project Brief: This research project explores how people’s experiences of and participation in heritage affects their well- being and mental health. It will seek to understand how diverse heritage activities, including museums, heritage sites and community archaeological excavations in a range of cultural contexts shape individual and communal well- being. This research will comparatively analyse quantitative data from public participants from six diverse public heritage projects from developing and developed countries around the world (UK, USA and India) to access the impact of participation in heritage on well-being and the link to social, cultural, economic and political factors. This research will gain an understanding of the role that heritage can play in creating healthier societies, and seeks to provide the evidence of how different forms of public engagement with heritage can contribute to healthier and happier societies.

Project Method
This research is based on the development of an accurate and critical data capture strategy already piloted on five diverse projects in the UK and one in the USA, and as such has been proven in its application to a range of heritage projects (Sayer 2015; Sayer 2018). This strategy, developed and piloted in the UK and USA, combines quantitative methodological well-being measures, including positive and negative affect schedule and modified visual analogue scale, to identify the role heritage plays in enhancing well-being (Sayer 2015).

Involvement: If your organisation or project is interested in learning more about this project or taking part in the study please email f.sayer@mmu.ac.uk