Welland Festival 2018-2020

Welland began as a micro-festival in 2018 as a pilot project run by Sam to explore the possibilities of creative wellbeing experiences in Elland.

It encouraged local people to explore and try new things that not only benefit their individual wellbeing but also strengthen community spirit, with a focus on creative and arts-based approaches.

Welland's story

Welland began in 2018 in response to conversations with local residents and small business owners in the community – many commented on a lack of opportunities available in Elland, and the need for new, positive activity to help strengthen community spirit and improve wellbeing.

So, in June 2018 Sam piloted a one day micro-festival, bringing together local wellbeing practitioners, artists, and organisations to provide a range of new activities the community could get involved in for free!

It was a huge success, and so in 2019 she extended the main event to a full weekend, and also ran a series of individual opportunities, including community walks, a workplace wellbeing networking event, and a series of ‘spark meetings‘ where the community could share their ideas. Lots of positive feedback was received from local people, and many of them were keen to access activities on a regular basis.

2020 changed how we work in many ways and so we explored other ways of offering Welland-inspired opportunities through the pandemic. 2023 will see a re-launch of Welland – more info to come on that soon!

Elland is a Yorkshire market town with a fascinating heritage – it celebrated it’s 700th birthday in 2017! Elland was recorded as Elant in the Domesday Book. The town’s name is derived from the Old English meaning ‘land by the water, river or land partly or wholly surrounded by water’ (wikipedia).

Excitingly, there’s lots of development planned for Elland over the next decade, including a new train station and redevelopment of the town centre.

You can find out more about Elland on Visit Calderdale.

Welland 2020

Welland Happiness Boxes

A little box of happiness delivered straight to the homes of isolated adults in Elland. Created specifically for isolated and vulnerable residents in and around Elland, including refugees and those seeking asylum and older people, our boxes consisted of beautiful and creative products and resources that promote, joy, connection, and creativity.

Our summer ‘Well and Happy’ and winter ‘Well and Merry’ boxes have been a huge success and we hope to offer more of these in the future. If you’d like to support us to do this you can do so here.

For Schools

Supporting the resilience and wellbeing of children and young people in Calderdale through dance and creativity.

Join our brilliant dance artists, Matt and Jess, for some seriously fun and creative virtual sessions that support children and young people with their learning and wellbeing, particularly around mental health, mobility and physical health, and connecting to others.

We created these workshops in response to the pandemic as we know many children and young people have been disproportionately challenged this year. Our workshops will support them to process their experiences and move through the next phase of living with Coronavirus with positivity and resilience.

This project is part of Welland, our wellbeing project in Elland and the lower valley, which has gone online for 2020!

Female dancer with her arms reach out bent by her sides

Early Years and Key Stage 1

Join Jess for an enchanting journey around the garden, exploring the natural world, making a wish for the future, and exploring things we wonder about…

These sessions support children to get moving, relax, and express themselves, whilst exploring nature and the environment.

Male dancer stood with arms open in a V shape reaching the sky

Key Stage 2

In these sessions Jess supports the children to explore what makes them happy and to celebrate their favourite things!

Children will have the opportunity to learn some movement, create their own, and share their work with others, whilst being supported to reflect and consider their experiences.

Female dance reaching down to her right side with her left arm up in the air

Kay Stage 3

Join Matt for these creative movement sessions, focusing on teamwork, communication skills, & problem solving.

In these sessions students learn a short contemporary dance phrase and are also challenged to create their own choreography, collaborating with their peers as well as individually.

Male dancer twirling around in a ballet pose

Key Stage 4

Exploring more complex choreographic tools to further challenge creativity, problem solving, decision making, and collaboration.

Students are challenged to create their own work and express their creativity using a range of more complex devices. This session may also be suitable for aspiring dancers in key stage 3.

A big thank you to Calderdale Council for helping make this possible.

Welland 2019

'Move Well, Live Well'

Welland 2019 saw a vibrant mix of workshops, activities, and performances for people of all ages to get moving, and explore ways to live happier, more connected lives.

An incredible 1178 people participated in our activities and 54 practitioners, artists, and organisations got involved in the project.

The event also coincided with Global Wellness Day and took part in Children’s Art Week, enabling us to bring new, diverse, and exciting opportunities to our community.

Huge thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, Calderdale Council, and the amazing local businesses and organisations who helped fund Welland 2019.

Welland 2018


A one-day pilot event where we brought together practitioners, support services, and artists in and around Elland to explore what wellness means for our community.

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