Training Academy and Social Rights Ambassadors Workshop in Italy - the role of culture for social inclusion & mental wellbeing

From 13 until 16 October, SOLIDAR members from the Social Affairs and the Education & Lifelong Learning Pillars, gathered in Bagnacavallo (Italy) to join two activities of the network:  the conference “Culture, mental health and social inclusion – a key convergence for the youth”, on 14 October, and the Training Academy, on 15-16 October. 

The conference was held in the framework of the national event “Strati della Cultura” (Layers of Culture), a yearly event organised by our Italian member ARCI around the topic of culture and participation. The conference was co-organised by SOLIDAR and ARCI and brought together experts in the field of mental health, social inclusion and youth, to discuss the intersections between these areas and how they can be mutually reinforcing. In their interventions, the speakers highlighted the pivotal importance of: 

  • accessibility of cultural initiatives 

  • awareness around youth mental health and inclusion, that translates into advocacy  

  • prevention instead of intervention in the area of youth mental health and wellbeing 

  • participation and co-designing as a key aspect to ensure the positive impact of cultural interventions  

  • tackling poverty also through the fight against cultural poverty 

After the fruitful discussions, SOLIDAR members exchanged ideas in a smaller group on how these dimensions can be more linked in EU policies and initiatives and what is the role of civil society in this sense. This exchange, which took the form of a brief workshop for our members only, was led by ARCI that presented their national Manifesto on culture and its role for people's wellbeing. In fact, this Manifesto resulted from the work done on the project “La cultura è la cura” (Culture is the cure) about the inclusion of marginalised groups (NEETs, people with mental health problems, and elderly people) through cultural participation, that ARCI implemented in the last years.  

The theme of the relationship between culture and social inclusion was further explored during the Training Academy when, guided by a professional trainer, our members learned more about the links between EU cultural and social policies, and how to translate this connection into their daily work. Through a combination of practical exercises and a more theoretical approach, the training gave our members inspiration and knowledge on finding creative ways to foster the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights at national level through cultural participation. 

Stay tuned to find out about our future actions on this topic! 

Read about the other Social Rights Ambassador workshop, held in Spain, together with our member MPDL.

These activities have been executed in the framework of the project ''Realising Social Europe For All and With All'' with the financial support of the European Union, through the EaSI strand of the ESF+ programme.