Bangladesh Victory Day Project

Funded by: Birmingham City Council

Location: Handsworth

Participants: 8 families (31 participants in total across 3 generations)

Project description: The Bangladesh Victory Day project was an arts and health project that used creative and cultural activities to share health information with an intergenerational group of participants. Children, parents and grandparents alike took part in a programme of workshops where they explored health messaging through creating their own artworks. 


  • 10 community artworks created
  • 10 Arts Awards achieved
  • Positive feedback from participants
  • Positive feedback from school staff
Bangladesh Victory Day Project shadow puppets
Shadow puppets created by participants for the final performance

Project aims:

The aim of the project was to explore health issues regarding type 2 diabetes. We engaged the Bangladeshi community specifically for a number of reasons.

  1. Inequality of access to the arts: in 2015/16 59% of Asian people engaged with the arts, compared to 70% of black people and 78% of white people (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
  2. Higher risks for type 2 diabetes: Bangladeshi people are 6x more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and develop it 10+ years earlier than white Europeans (NCBI)
  3. General health inequality: the Bangladeshi community has been hit the hardest by Covid-19 due to underlying health conditions (Office for National Statistics)

We connected with our participants on a cultural level, which helped us to engage them with the health messages and arts activities. Whole families became engaged through a strong community link with a local school.

Grandma and granddaughter posing with their fruit artwork, which they used to explore healthy eating

Feedback from participants

‘I enjoyed coming to the workshop every Thursday evening. I have learnt a lot and learnt new aspects of diabetes in the Asian community.’

‘I enjoyed being part of a community project and doing lots of enjoyable arts’

‘[I would do it again] because it brings families together in such busy times with work and other stresses’

‘[I enjoyed the project] because it was about celebrating Bangladesh Victory day’

‘[I liked that] we got to spend time together’

‘It was fun and sparked my creativity/imagination’

Bangladesh Victory Day Project participants
A happy family at the final performance

Statement of impact

For many of the children involved in the “Bangladeshi Victory Project”, it has had a positive effect on their attitude towards learning in the Arts. One year 5 pupil in particular has made significant progress in Art over the last 10 weeks and he often remarks upon how much he has improved, showing great pride in his learning journey and enthusiasm for the subject. This is important for our Artsmark aim to improve the engagement of boys in Art as, since he and other pupils have spoken to their peers about the project, a significant number of boys have shown interest in extra-curricular art activities.

Another set of pupils for which this project has had a positive impact, is the teenage girls who are our ex-pupils. The change in their attitude towards the Arts has been significant. From the shy, reluctant and self-conscious pupils who joined us at the start of the project and who said they “were no good at Art”, they have grown in confidence and participated in our final performance. They have even approached me to ask if they can do their work experience in our Art department.

Perhaps the most rewarding impact of the project for us as a school has been having the means to reengage with parents through the Arts. Many members of staff from SLT to support staff have commented on how great it has been to have parents back in school in this way again. This particular set of parents began the process quite disengaged and didn’t really mix much with others in the school community. They have benefitted so much from participating in this project because it has given them the opportunity to share a positive experience with other parents and as a result, they have made lasting connections with others in the school community. I have also observed certain individuals really thrive and grow in confidence as they have been able to take ownership of the project and shape the outcomes. In short, it has empowered them. This is evidenced by the fact that several parents have agreed to continue working with Rookery and ‘Art at the Heart’ on upcoming projects where they will take on the role of ambassadors to lead and support new parents.

Emma Lacken, Specialist Art Teacher at Rookery School