STAR – South Tees Arts Project

TIN Arts are working with NHS North East and North Cumbria’s Child Health and Wellbeing Network and key regional partners to deliver an innovative cross-sector, locality-based dance and health project in South Tees (Tees Valley).  

The pilot project involves an active research strand that aims to understand better the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of taking part in dance and wider arts activities and how these support participants through creative and engaging ways to express themselves and develop self-awareness, identity, social and emotional learning skills. As well as supporting young people, this collaborative arts project will also support their families in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in South Tees.

S.T.A.R. will take place in two primary schools based in South Tees: Grangetown Primary and Thorntree Academy. S.T.A.R. builds upon each of the partner organisation’s portfolios of work including Children North East’s Poverty Proofing, Northern Ballet’s National Touring of work for children and young people and TIN Arts’ inclusive dance development work focused on increasing access to the arts for wellbeing. 

S.T.A.R. is also underpinned by the South Tees HeadStart programme which works across all schools and colleges in delivering an evidenced Academic Resilience curriculum. The three universities involved leading the Research (Teesside University, University of Huddersfield and Newcastle University) collectively offer a wealth of experience evaluating health and social care interventions and addressing health inequalities. 

This unique collaborative project will identify new ways of combatting the negative impacts of mental health and will support local communities to thrive.

S.T.A.R. began in June 2021 and runs until August 2022.

Partners: NHS North East and North Cumbria’s Child Health and Wellbeing Network, Thorntree Academy, Grangetown Primary School, Northern Ballet, Children North East, Public Health South Tees, Teeeside University, University of Huddersfield, Newcastle University, TIN Arts.  

Funding: We would like to thank those involved in the evolution of this project from the first concept workshop in September 2019.  Funding for the initial STAR work was often payment in kind by those involved as well as some financial support through the NENC Child Health and Wellbeing Network, Tees Valley CCG Mental Health Team and the NENC Mental Health Clinical Network.

The final operational delivery of STAR is funded through a collaborative bid facilitated through the Child Health and Wellbeing Network. Our Thanks to NHS Charities Together and County Durham & Darlington FT Charity for supporting us with funding of £242,650.00 towards a wider programme that includes STAR. Also thanks to Newcastle Hospitals Charity and County Durham Community Foundation for their support through the Community Partnership Grants Programme (North East and North Cumbria).


January 2022: STAR has been shortlisted as part of the Health Service Journal Awards ( in the ‘Most Impactful Project Addressing Health Inequalities’ category. Read the full Press Release here.