Skip to main content

A black and white photograph of a man in pain

We are looking for people living with persistent pain to participate in our exciting and groundbreaking project, Unmasking Pain.

The project brings together people living with pain, pain specialists and artists to take part in sessions that use creative approaches to identify the shared challenges of living with pain and support people to find new ways to articulate their feelings and experiences. Some of the artists also live with persistent pain. You will work with the artists who will listen, document and interpret pain and ultimately co-create ways to tell your pain story.

With artists you will also have the opportunity to co-create how the stories will be shared with a wider audience and at GP surgeries across the North.

During the project we will be testing some cutting edge thermodynamic technology with Durham University to help us understand the impact of the project on your pain.

The project has been planned with people living with persistent pain and partners at Live Well with Pain. Workshops are 1.5 hours with opportunities for breaks. Two workshops will be held on each day of attendance.

The project will run from June to October 2022 in both Leeds and Durham.

What you can expect from us:

• Sessions will be paced and designed with those with lived experience with scheduled breaks and an understanding that you may need to take a break at other times

• Fully accessible venues

• Lunch and refreshments will be provided

• Reimbursement of travel costs

• A focus on listening to those with lived experience and an equal voice in the creative process to express and share your stories

• You will never be expected to do anything that you do not want to do

• Durham University evaluation methods have been approved by the University Ethics Committee

• Access to in-session support through Durham University’s WRIHW Pain Challenge Academy programme, headed up by Dr Paul Chazot

• Further support through the group and artists and on-line physio support during sessions

• Adherence to Government guidance on Covid mitigation

• Adaptation to on-line delivery if required in consultation with artists and participants

What we need from you:

• Able to attend the 5 sessions (in Durham these are: 14th June, 4th July, 1st August, 9th September, 21st September. Leeds dates to be confirmed) between 1pm and 4.30pm, with plenty of breaks, lunch and refreshments with other participants and artists in either Leeds or Durham

• Able to meet on-line between sessions with artists and other participants (no more than once a week)

• Willingness to share your story in ways that you are comfortable with and listen to other participants’ stories

• Contribute to an inclusive, supportive environment for everyone taking part

• Openness to taking part in the creative process and trying new things

• Commitment to taking part in the evaluation of the project

• Follow Government and Partners’ guidance on Covid mitigation

Partner organisations

Durham University (Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing and

Pain Academy) – seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives by contributing to

public policy; professional practice and development of new insights, products

and tools. The Pain Academy is running Skills not Pills: community-based pain

self-management. Durham University will lead the evaluation of the project’s

impact on participants pain and self-management.


Live Well With Pain – an organisation, developed by clinicians and people living

with pain, for clinicians and those with lived experience to help clinicians

support patients towards better self-management of their long term pain. Live

Well With Pain supports clinicians, especially GPs, to realise the need to change

how they work with people with persistent pain and reduce reliance on

medication only. Live Well With Pain will support those involved in the project to

respond to the needs of participants and share findings widely with GPs.


Balbir Singh Dance Company – creates multicultural work that tells stories in

innovative ways using a range of artforms from dance and music to film and

podcasts, that generate conversations and bring hidden life experiences to the

fore. BSDC will facilitate the workshop sessions with artists from dance; music;

spoken word; visual art; pottery and mask-making.


To find out more and/or register your

interest please contact Dawn Fuller at: