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April Shining Star: Jack Drum Arts

Jack Drum Arts (JDA) are a community-focused arts organisation based in Crook in County Durham. JDA was established in 1986, with the mission of increasing access to a range of arts activities and cultural events, particularly for those who face barriers to engagement. Read on to find out all about Jack Drum Arts and their involvement in the award!

Why did you decide to sign up to the BHAWA?

As a socially-focused arts organisation, it made sense for Jack Drum Arts to sign up to the Bronze BHAWA.  Looking after our own staff team is key to providing a strong foundation for our extensive community work and since our central ethos is to enable people and communities to thrive through creative practice, it is only natural that we extend this aspiration to our own team too.


How do you find that the award benefits the organisation, and its employees?

Although we only ‘officially’ signed up to the award in late October, for several months Jack Drum Arts has enjoyed a weekly 45 min high impact interval training session with PCP Development Worker Luke Liddell, and although the idea of a vigorous workout can sometimes be a daunting prospect at the end of a busy workday, our team members report that they are always glad that they pushed themselves to complete the sessions.


So many great North Eastern employers such as Beamish Museum and Nissan are participating in the initiative and although we have a comparatively small core staff team of eight, it is nonetheless important to look out for our welfare too.  We could argue that caring for our team is especially important in a small organisation as we all necessarily engage in multiple roles, work to a constant stream of funding, project and event-driven deadlines and all work different shift patterns. The BHAWA will provide opportunities for the team to come together in ways that are not exclusively linked to our work programme and the team are looking forward to embarking on new adventures as a group.


What kind of activities have you organised in line with the award so far?


BHAWA Advocates Martina Vitale and Jill Chambers circulated the Health Needs questionnaire via email and are pleased that every single member of the team engaged with the questions and completed a form. The results of the survey have proved surprising in places and have given much food for thought. As a result we have planned three campaigns to take us through to the summer months: Mental Wellbeing (linking in with Blue Monday on 15th Jan and Time to Talk Day on 1 Feb); Sleep Well (linking in with World Sleep Day in March) and a Get Physical campaign centred on regularly achieving the NHS recommended 150mins of moderate activity per week and the 5 a day dietary recommendations.


In the first week back to work after the Christmas break the team is headed to Harrogate Spa for an away day, getting the Mental Wellbeing campaign off to a great start.  Several staff members expressed an interest in updating first aid training so this was arranged for mid January. We are also currently looking into breathwork and holistic health and hope to arrange a staff health check for those who wish to participate.

As a creative organisation we look forward to finding fresh new ways to engage with the Bronze Award programme in line with the unique interests and aspirations of our team.

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