Health Arts Research People (HARP) COVID-19 Sprint


The COVID-19 health crisis provided a rare moment in time when people in communities and across complex systems had a clearer sense of the needs of others and, for many, the power of their own individual role in a collective response to the crisis. The HARP Sprint tapped into the human spirit’s curiosity to continuously test our assumptions about what is possible and explore how innovation can leverage human ingenuity.

The HARP COVID-19 Sprint was a time-limited, experimental innovation project, based in Wales. The aim was to inspire and support arts and health professionals to develop new creative activities that could help to mitigate some of the negative impacts of the pandemic on peoples’ health and wellbeing.

Y Lab and the People Powered Results team convened 12 arts and health professionals from across Wales to work with people from four distinct groups:

  • People with pre-existing mental health conditions and brain injury survivors in the community.
  • D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists.
  • People experiencing loneliness (often with pre-existing health conditions).
  • Older people shielding and isolated from younger relatives.

People Powered Results supported Y Lab to build the right conditions, structures and support online that would enable teams to collaborate and rapidly experiment with new ideas and new ways of working in a digital landscape. From ways of working to idea generation to storytelling, online activities were designed to unlock individual and collective creativity and drive change forward. The ability to apply tried and tested existing methods in effective ways online meant the Sprint was able to rapidly harness people’s innate curiosity and create a space to spin ideas into action.

Drawing upon a range of our methods, tools and frameworks, The HARP Sprint connected people online through creativity and created the space for innovation, ultimately creating better outcomes for people.

Read the full report

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