The three papers to be presented at the panel will address questions and issues concerning well-being and its enhancement, in three contrasting areas of what might be termed ‘social participation’ – that is, in education, cultural engagement, and health. More specifically, the papers will examine the experience of adult returners to Higher Education at foundation level; the experience of those with dementia who are part of cinema-audiences; and the theory and practice of ‘social prescription’ in relation to GP practice and co-productive models of health delivery.

Paper 1: Education – Presenters Marie Clifford and Emma Wheeler: The research is concerned with the well-being of Foundation Year students in Higher Education. The researchers are specialists working with ‘non-traditional’ learners and explicitly focus on the pedagogical implications of learning being facilitated within an interdisciplinary teaching team. The specific needs that these students often present are identified and are drawn from a current action research project using arts-based methods, creating digital stories of lived experience. Through reflective practice, ‘trauma-informed’ understandings are considered as classroom practices are disseminated across the wider Higher Education context in light of the ‘Universal Design for Learning’ theoretical framework.

Paper 2: Cultural Engagement – Presenter James Rendell: The research is interdisciplinary in character examining dementia-friendly cinema screenings and their audiences, and how these events support wellbeing, inclusivity, and sociability. An emerging cultural phenomenon with very little research, the paper is located within wider fields of people with dementia and leisure activities, dementia-friendly communities, and empirical cinema audience research that explores the participative opportunities and environmental barriers for those with dementia when attending these specialised screenings. The paper also develops the research agenda for further study into this topic, stressing collaboration between academic, industry, cultural, charity, governmental stakeholders, and including participants with dementia as a core tenet of these dialogues.

Paper 3: Health – Presenter Steve Smith: Physical, mental and social components of well-being are known to be important to health. However, in health research and practice much of the focus has been on physical and mental well-being with less attention paid to social components, which we assert detrimentally affects the development of health policies and practices. Responding, The Wales School for Social Prescribing Research (WSSPR) are developing a tool for measuring the quality of respondents’ overall experience of social well-being , using a Group Concept Mapping (GCM) exercise, with a view to evaluating systematically health policies and practices, and in particular social prescribing.