Developing a heritage focused wellbeing measure from Generic Social Outcomes to Generic Wellbeing Outcomes

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Museums and Collections

Abstract

Health, quality of life and wellbeing have become the number one priority areas for individuals, communities and governments worldwide and directly impact policy making across much of the developed world. A significant body of evidence and numerous policy directives acknowledge the important role culture and access to heritage plays in active citizenship, community engagement, improving wellbeing and life satisfaction. The heritage sector has the opportunity to more closely engage with this broad agenda and in return benefit from its strength as a priority with funders and partners. Museums and galleries already have an effect on wellbeing through their learning, access and outreach programmes and have done throughout much of their history. The challenge, as with learning, is measuring the distinctive but potentially significant contribution museums and galleries make to individual and community wellbeing, and articulately advocating for further work to potential partners and funders. It is therefore vital we establish a robust, repeatable, measure for assessing the value to health and wellbeing that this interaction affords. Furthermore, such engagement requires strong theoretical and empirical evidence, and a conceptual language, in order to clearly articulate the value of the heritage sector's contribution to health and wellbeing.

Previous AHRC-funded research has demonstrated that heritage-focused activities in hospitals and other healthcare settings have shown significant improvements in wellbeing as measured by scales commonly used in clinical practice. Analysis of interviews showed that patients are distracted from their clinical surroundings and feel happier and healthier as a result of heritage-focused activities such as handling and discussing museum objects. The effects of arts-focused interventions in healthcare contexts are also well-documented and reviewed. Studies have found that arts-focused activities can lead to reduced drug consumption, decreased hospital stay, improvements in mental wellbeing and social inclusion, and increased empathy in healthcare professionals with mental health patients. There are many other examples of good practice from UK museums and galleries whose community access programmes have revealed a significant impact on enhancing social wellbeing; a few highlights include the Dulwich Picture Gallery's 'Good Times - Prescription for Art' programme, the Museum of East Anglian Life's social inclusion programme, Colchester and Ipswich Museum's work with mental health service users and the arts-for-health programme run across Manchester Museums.

To date the above 'wellbeing' programmes and others like them have used a range of techniques to assess the value and impact of their work, including 'social return on investment' models, mental health wellbeing scales and quality of life measures. The sector however, lacks a defined approach for assessing the impact of its work on health and wellbeing. In the last ten years, many museums and galleries have used a set of measures called the Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs) to assess the impact of their work on learning. Subsequently, the Generic Social Outcomes (GSOs) were devised to measure the social benefits resulting from a museum or heritage visit such as the level of interaction between visitors as a result of engagement with an object or historic site.
The goal of this project is to move beyond the GLOs and GSOs to develop a heritage focused wellbeing measure and create a new conceptual and methodological framework (or Generic Wellbeing Outcome, GWO), for evaluating the heritage sectors contribution to health and wellbeing. Through testing and validating the GWO across a variety of museums and galleries, the project will assess and promote the benefits to health, wellbeing and quality of life of heritage-focused activities.

Planned Impact

Defining and communicating the heritage sector's contribution to enhancing health and wellbeing is of critical importance to the sector and its audiences, as well as wider society including associated sectors such as healthcare and volunteering, and those audiences currently excluded from heritage-focused activities. The research has the potential to impact the ways in which museums and galleries evaluate their community in-house and outreach programmes and, importantly, to adjust these programmes according to the needs of their users.

Previous AHRC funded research in this area undertaken by the PI has attracted significant interest from the wider academic community; this is exemplified by the wide variety of invited talks, conference papers, an invitation to speak at the House of Lords and most recently by a Certificate of Commendation for the Heritage in Hospitals research project (AH/G000506/1) from the Royal Society for Public Health (to date the project has clocked up a total of 42 independent impact activities).

In order to realise the potential impacts of the proposed General Wellbeing Outcomes (GWOs) toolkit and methodology beyond academia, focus groups will be set up between heritage professionals and potential beneficiaries to ascertain the optimum ways of enhancing wellbeing. For maximum impact, beneficiaries need to include the commercial sector and government agencies. Other stakeholders such as clinicians, therapists, representatives from charities and social service providers will be invited to attend to consider how the GWOs toolkit might impact upon their existing practices.

An outcome of the proposed research is that assessment is made of heritage-focused activities for socially-excluded adults taken into museums and galleries or in outreach settings where it is imperative to improve wellbeing such as residential care homes, day centres or GP surgeries. If findings from the GWOs indicate, for example, that the context of the sessions, such as the heritage environment, has the most impact on wellbeing, recommendations could be made to fund rooms in hospitals, community spaces or GP waiting rooms, (possibly via charitable donations) in which heritage-focused activities and related therapies could take place. One example of such a venue is the Newham University Hospital 1940's/50's Nostalgia room.

Critical success factors gleaned from the research will be used to inform associated toolkit user information with guidance on how to implement the framework, evaluate outcomes and training guidelines regarding conducting in-house and outreach sessions particularly with emotionally vulnerable adults. Aspects of training will include research ethics, particularly advice on the right to withdraw, and hygiene and infection control for outreach activities in healthcare settings. Lessons learnt from the research will be disseminated across a variety of networks (e.g. VSO, Age UK, London Arts in Health Forum, Mental Health Research Network, and Creative Arts for Dementia Network) and via consultation with critical friends (such as the Alzheimer's Society) to ensure impact of the research beyond the heritage sector; wikis, blogs and discussion forums will be established as a means of tracking the impact of the research within and beyond the heritage sector.

Publications

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Chatterjee, HC (2015) The health and well-being potential of museums and art galleries (Editorial). in Arts and Health Special Issue: Culture, Museums and Wellbeing

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Napier A (2014) Culture and health in The Lancet

 
Description We developed the UCL Museum Wellbeing Measure Toolkit which is now widely used across the sector
Exploitation Route Many museums are using the measure and adapting it for their own purposes; we are working with them to help apply the toolkit to their varied settings
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://culturehealthresearch.wordpress.com/ucl-museum-wellbeing-measures/
 
Description We produced a toolit for measuring the impact of museum activities on health and wellbeing; over 50 museums worldwide are using the toolkit
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Title UCL Museums Wellbeing Measure 
Description A toolkit for use by cultural organisations to assess impact of participation on psychological and subjective wellbeing 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Over 30 museums worldwide are using the measure 
URL http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Article,id=17876/
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Age UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation British Museum
Department Digital and Publishing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Canterbury Christ Church University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Kent County Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation NEF Consulting Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Royal Society for Public Health
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation The Postal Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums on Prescription partnerships 
Organisation University of the Arts London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are evaluating museum activities in partner museums in Camden and Kent who are referred by partners from AGEUK, other third sector bodies, health and social care organisations. Our role is to set up the partnerships, evaluate the impact of a 10-week programme and co-reach with the partners the value of museum programming in social prescribing.
Collaborator Contribution Partners either offer museum venues/activities, referrals or impact support and include: Age UK Camden, Canterbury, Islington, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Arts Council England The British Museum The British Postal Museum and Archive Camden Council (Housing and Adult Social Care) Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (Camden Psychological Services) Canterbury Christ Church University Canterbury Museums and Galleries Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection Islington Museum and Archives Kent County Council (Children, Families and Education) Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery New Economics Foundation (NEF Consulting) Royal Society for Public Health Tunbridge Wells Museums & Art Gallery UCL Museums & Collections
Impact Main outcomes includes a series of 10 week museum programmes at partner museums; these have been accompanied by several skills and information sharing workshops involving all partners (museums, health referrers, health sector partners, NEF, RSPH and 3rd sector partners such as AgeUK).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums and Health seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions into the research

Increased awareness of research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014