Culture on Prescription (COPE)

The Erasmus+ project Culture on Prescription is a social intervention based on “social prescribing” practices, already implemented in the United Kingdom and Ireland with very positive results, and which aims to “prescribe” to participants experiences related to art, culture and social activities as a way to reduce social isolation and loneliness.

The COPE project aims to prevent and combat social isolation and loneliness through art and culture. Cultural prescribing is the referral of a healthcare professional of lonely and isolated (older) people to locally available art and cultural offerings.

Within the project, participants will learn more about culture and engage in a cultural activity themselves, while improving social skills and the feeling of belonging and trust, while also increasing their network of contacts and friends.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, prescribing a ‘recipe’ for social and cultural offerings has been shown to work in reducing loneliness. The Erasmus+ ‘Culture on Prescription ‘ project (January 2022-April 2024) plans to develop a training resource for adults and facilitators to tackle loneliness problems. What to do and how to apply personal ‘cultural prescriptions’ for participating in new and tailored activities will be explored and elaborated.


More than 75 million European adults meet with family or friends at most once a month, and around 30 million European adults regularly feel lonely. Over the past two years, these feelings of loneliness have been reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which left older people in particular unable to have contact with friends or relatives for months at a time. Poor health, unfavourable economic conditions and living alone are all associated with higher rates of loneliness.


The ‘Culture on Prescription’ project will introduce cultural activities facilitated by non-formal learning and training offers for adults. It will not be a prescription for traditional medicine, but a ‘recipe’ entitling people to a free educational opportunity that builds on and emphasises their talents, interests and strengths. This will also increase the sense of belonging and connection with the other participants. In this way, the Culture on Prescription project will contribute to better health and increased well-being for these people. The emphasis is on health promotion rather than disease.


We target people who feel lonely, have mental health problems or people who are interested in learning together and/or engaging in cultural activities to help change or improve their own situation. We will also support facilitators who offer or are willing to offer non-formal learning experiences of Culture on Prescription. Additionally, we will establish contacts with health and social care professionals to create a smooth exchange between organisations, which are familiar with the target groups. We will also liaise with policymakers and community members.


  • Compendium “Health promotion through cultural learning experiences – Facts, figures and
    good practice”.
  • Voucher ‘Culture on Prescription’ for a free educational offer, aimed at developing the cultural
    strengths and talents of the participants.
  • Training kit that facilitates the conduction of courses lasting up to 6 months, tested and evaluated
    by the participants and the trainers.
  • E-learning platform with a virtual library, tools to prepare, run and sustain learning experiences
    and a forum to exchange experiences.
  • Recommendations for decision-makers in municipalities and associations.