Art by Post

Art by Post

The Southbank Centre’s Art by Post project goes nationwide, bringing creative activity booklets to 3,000 isolated people across the UK with a new network of national art and health partners.

The Barn is joining a network of national partners working in collaboration with the Southbank Centre on Art by Post as the project expands this autumn and winter. The Barn is offering this opportunity to our arts and community partners to join thousands of other participants across the UK beyond what we have been offering to our Third Stage Art group in phase 1 of the project.

The Southbank Centre developed Art by Post during the Covid-19 lockdown to engage those most isolated by social distancing measures, with a particular emphasis on reaching older adults living with dementia and other chronic health conditions. To date, Art by Post has reached almost 2,000 people aged 18 – 103 across the UK, from Aberdeen to Truro and Bangor to Dover. So far, care homes, hospitals, charities, arts organisations, specialist dementia services, prison facilities and housing initiatives have all referred people from their communities onto the scheme.

Art by Post is very simple: participants receive free creative booklets through their letterbox or via email every four weeks. The booklets, created in collaboration with artists, spark the imagination and help participants stay connected to others via the growing Art by Post community. We encourage participants to share their artwork and creative responses with the Southbank Centre, by Freepost. The artworks that the Southbank Centre receives in response will form an Art by Post exhibition, scheduled for 2021.

In this next phase of the project, the network of partners include HOME Manchester, The Barn, artsdepot, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Age UK Camden, Age UK Oxfordshire and Nightingale House. Art by Post has also been confirmed as one of the National Academy for Social Prescribing’s core projects, part of the government’s wider £5 million social prescribing agenda. All will work with the Southbank Centre to deliver an enriching experience for participants, using the booklets as a springboard for further creative exploration.

How to sign up

Participants receive a total of six creative booklets, delivered monthly.

You can sign up for yourself, refer someone else or request to receive packs as a group.

For example, you might want to refer someone if you’re a health or social care practitioner or community organiser. Or you might be related to, friends with or caring for someone who would like to receive Art by Post. Or you might want to receive packs on behalf of a community organisation or care home.

If you’re signing up on behalf of a family member or friend, you’ll also receive Art by Post booklets by email, so you can get involved yourself.

Our current series of Art by Post booklets runs from September 2020 to early 2021. You need to sign up by the 3rd Monday of each month to take part. We have a restricted number of booklets each month to distribute, so please sign up early to avoid disappointment.Before you sign up, check that Art by Post is right for you or for the person you are referring.

You (or they)

  • Have given consent for referral and to be contacted by us (the Barn and the Southbank Centre)
  • Live with a long term health condition (e.g. diabetes, arthritis, dementia)
  • Can read and write English by yourself or have support to do this
  • Are aged over 18
  • Live in the UK


Please send us your:

  • Name / organisation name
  • Full postal address
  • Telephone number

to to sign up to the project.

If you email us or leave us a message, we will receive a reply as soon as possible. But please forgive us for taking a little longer than usual to get in touch at the moment.

Art by Post has been developed in consultation with Southbank Centre community partners and (B)old project participants and is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre Art By Post Logo