15 May 2023 All day Online I Room S1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge



  • David Sneath (University of Cambridge)
  • Elizabeth Turk (University of Cambridge)


  • Françoise Barbira-Freedman (University of Cambridge)
  • Jonathan Woolley (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Keynote speaker

Natsagdorj Damdinsüren (Manba Datsan Traditional Mongolian Medical Training Centre and Monastery)


  • Rasheeqa Ahmad (community medical herbalist + the Community Apothecary Waltham Forest (North London) project)
  • Seded Baatar (Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences)
  • Shirchinmaa Baatar (Odi Tan Pharmaceuticals)
  • Emily Bradfield (Arts and Minds)
  • Alexandra Coulter (The National Centre for Creative Health)
  • Yojung Gurung (Nepalese shaman master)
  • Linda Monckton (Historic England )
  • Ruth Sapsed (Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination)
  • Yvette Staelens (Bournemouth University)
  • Uranchimeg Ujeed (University of Cambridge)


The role of the arts and cultural heritage in cultivating health and wellbeing has gained increasing purchase in public awareness world-wide in recent years. As part of an AHRC-funded project that explores the politics of linking health and cultural heritage, this workshop engages multiple publics – both in the UK and further afield – to explore diverse approaches to and emergent trends in improving quality of life beyond biomedicine.

With the aim of discussing key themes in the implementation of arts, cultural heritage and ‘traditional’ knowledge in healing settings in the UK and Inner Asia, this event will bring together a range of stakeholders that engage therapeutic aspects of the arts, heritage and material culture, practitioners of evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, policy-related beneficiaries, and researchers to exchange knowledge and ideas.

Workshop panels will be organised around two central themes: the natural environment, and cultural heritage (tangible and intangible). Focusing on these two material and conceptual resources will help us explore how the healing arts are deployed in everyday life, how they engender meaning locally and relate to subjectivity, and the processing by which they come to be considered legitimate.

Ultimately, the workshop aims to inform and disseminate a policy briefing document for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing.

Supported by:

CRASSH grey logoRainbow coloured starburst line drawing

Arts and Humanities reasearch logoscript writing in red against a white background




If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.


9:30 – 9:40

David Sneath (University of Cambridge)

9:40 - 10:40

Panel 1: The Natural environment as therapeutic modality

Chair: Françoise Barbira-Freedman (University of Cambridge)

Ruth Sapsed (Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination)
‘Artscapers: being and becoming creative – introducing the practice of artscaping and what can happen when children, artists, professionals, schools, families and volunteers co-create art in nature experiences together’

Rasheeqa Ahmad (Community medical herbalist, The Community Apothecary Waltham Forest (North London) Project)
‘The old knowledges in the community apothecary – gathering plants and people’

Yojung Gurung (Nepalese shaman master)
‘Himalayan herbal’

10:40 - 11:10

Panel 1: Q&A

11:10 - 11:30

Refreshments break

11:30 - 12:30

Panel 2: Subjectivity & heritage

Chair: Elizabeth Turk (University of Cambridge)

Yvette Staelens (Bournemouth University)
‘Human Henge: exploring ways to improve mental health well-being in ancient landscapes. Journeying in the past to help the future’

Shirchinmaa Baatar (Odi Tani Pharmaceuticals)
Seded Baatar (Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences)
‘The current situation of traditional medicine and its trend in Mongolia’

Uranchimeg Ujeed (University of Cambridge)
‘Cultural heritage for self-healing: the reshaping of shamanic practice in Inner Mongolia’

12:30 – 13:00 

Panel 2: Q&A

13:00 – 14:10 

Lunch break

14:10 – 14:40 


Damdinsüren Natsagdorj (Manba Datsan Traditional Mongolian Medical Training Centre and Monastery)

‘Integrating Mongolian medicine into COVID-19 national healthcare policy: a success story’

14:40 - 15:40

Panel 3: Broadening approaches to health and policy engagement

Chair: Jonathan Woolley (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Emily Bradfield (Arts and Minds)
‘Prescribing art and heritage to support positive mental health’

Linda Monckton (Historic England)
‘Present and future policy changes in wellbeing and the historic environment’

Alexandra Coulter (National Centre for Creative Health)
Creative health – the national policy landscape ‘

15:40 – 16:10 

Panel 3: Q&A

16:10 – 16:30 

Refreshment break

16:30 - 18:00

Wrap up & round table

Co-Chairs: David Sneath and Elizabeth Turk, University of Cambridge

Round table discussion (all speakers)

Speaker biographies

Rasheeqa Ahmad
Rasheeqa Ahmad is a community medical herbalist, the Community Apothecary Waltham Forest (north London) project.

Seded Baatar

Seded Baatar (MD, PhD) practices medicine at the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences.

Shirchimaa Baatar

Shirchimaa Baatar (MD, MSc) is CEO at Odi Tani Pharmaceuticals.

Emily Bradfield
Emily Bradfield (PhD) is Charity Director of Arts and Minds.

Alexandra Coulter

Alexandra Coulter is Director of the UK National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) which launched in March 2021. It was established in response to Recommendation 1 in the Creative Health report, which was published in 2017 following a two-year inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG). Alex has provided the secretariat for the APPG since 2015 and project managed the inquiry.

Linda Monckton

Dr Linda Monckton, FSA, is Head of Wellbeing and Inclusion Strategy at Historic England.

Damdinsuren Natsagdorj
Khamba lama, Dr. Prof. Damdinsuren Natsagdorj is the General Director of ‘Manba Datsan’ Clinical and Training Centre for Traditional Mongolian Medicine and “Otoch Manramba” University of Mongolia.’

Ruth Sapsed

Ruth Sapsed is the Director of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) and has led the organisation since it was established as an arts and well-being charity in 2007. Their programmes cultivate creative communities in Cambridgeshire and beyond and aim to help people of all ages foster deep connections with each other and the world on their doorsteps. The work often takes place in communities with particular challenges. They have developed long and fruitful relationships with many Cambridge institutions (including both universities, Addenbrooke’s hospital, the city and county councils, many schools, and the region’s leading mental health charities for children and young people) and more recently with University College London’s new Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education.

Uranchimeg Ujeed

Uranchimeg Ujeed (PhD) is a Research Associate at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge

Yvette Staelens

Yvette is the Human Henge Facilitator and part time Senior Teaching Fellow at Bournemouth University.

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