Our research shows that taking part in arts activities helps to develop stronger connections between people, increasing empathy, encouraging compassion, and reducing prejudice. We know that being involved in collaborative creativity also strengthens people’s belief that they can make positive change happen, enabling a shift from engagement to understanding and from agency to action.

Over the years our research has captured the impact of our work, from encouraging long-lasting kindness intentions in children to shifting perceptions and understanding of ‘difference’. Participants have built strong relationships in their community and gone on to develop their own creative projects, they’ve joined together to set up businesses and organised ongoing community events, while artists have taken ideas around our practice forward, developing impactful collaborations and legacy projects.

People United has always aspired to be a catalyst for change. As well as working collaboratively with communities, we also support artists, arts organisations and others by sharing our learning and methodology through conferences, talks, development programmes and bespoke interventions.

You can read more about our impact on individual project pages and in our three research reports.

Over the last three years alone People United has:

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Co-created 21 projects

Working with partners like Canterbury, Ashford and Kent Councils, the University of Kent, Tate, Compton Verney, the Cares Family, Optima Housing, Square Pegs Arts, and many others, hundreds of people have joined in our creative projects and helped create a kinder world.
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Inspired 18,000 children

We’ve facilitated Arts & Kindness weeks in schools, partnered with the Philharmonia to explore ‘kind planets’ and brought the young and old together during lockdown. We’ve also worked with teenagers in Ramsgate, the Scouts and over 1,100 Rainbows, Brownies and Guides have completed our Kindness Challenge badge.
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Involved 40,000 individuals

We’ve shared our learnings through mentoring schemes and training, through workshops and presentations for organisations like the University of Pennsylvania, Manchester Royal Exchange and NSEAD, and by taking part in events like KindFest, as well as hosting our own national conference on using the arts to provoke change.
People United pioneers work that engages marginalised communities and they lead rigorous research on the social benefits of the arts. They are generous in sharing knowledge … here and at a national level. Tony Witton Arts & Culture Manager, Kent County Council
The Best of Us by Thor McIntyre-Burnie, Chloe Osborne and Kati Francis © Ben Gold
I was treated as an equal, not looked down on. I’ve seen individuals grow in stature and in confidence. That’s the [People United] legacy – helping individuals change. Symone Crouchman Newington resident and Creative Champion for ‘The Best of Us’
Symone Crouchman
This felt like an important moment for us to mark change in a positive way. I've given lots of thought to … kind leadership. You made a difference to a lot of people this week. Sheralee Lockhart Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre
Tate Exchange © Jason Pay