A £1 million Arts and older people in care programme has been launched, jointly funded by the Arts Council and The Baring Foundation.

We sought proposals from partnerships or consortia led by either residential care providers or arts organisations to deliver a three-year programme providing access to high quality arts experiences for older people in residential care.

We have now announced the four successful projects. Find out about them here.

The starting point for Arts and older people in care programme is that people continue to be creative as they age but in some circumstances they may need specific support from arts organisations to unlock and develop these talents.

The programme aims to support the Arts Council to deliver our ambitions within goal two of our 10-year strategic framework Great art and culture for everyone: ‘more people experience and are inspired by the arts’.

The programme is one of our grant commissions, which is part of our strategic funding programme.

For more information on the funding and application process, please download the PDF or Word version of the guidance notes or follow these links for specific details on eligibility, how to apply and how we will make our decision. These pages are also available via the navigation bar on the left-hand side of this page.

Aims and outcomes

The programme wants to build on the existing examples of good practice where artists, and arts and cultural organisations are making a real difference to people’s lives and providing a bridge between older people and the wider community.

The key aims of the programme are to:

  • encourage residential care providers in partnership with arts organisations to commit to and invest in on-going programmes that give residents access to high quality arts experiences
  • establish a series of sustainable, exemplar, programmes of arts and engagement activity giving older people in residential care access to a wide range of quality arts experiences as audiences and participants
  • showcase artistic excellence in residential care settings and stretch aspiration for the range of arts that residents can access and experience outside of the care setting eg visits to local arts venues and events
  • develop tools and resources for more residential care providers to adopt on-going programmes of arts engagement activity and to provide practical support for them to identify appropriate artists and local arts opportunities
  • support the professional development of residential care staff to increase their confidence to deliver arts engagement programmes in their care settings
  • support the professional development of artists to create collaborative arts projects with older people, their carers and the wider community
  • through documentation, evaluation and dissemination stimulate debate and share learning about approaches to engaging older people in care in the arts and inspire others to develop best practice
  • demonstrating the role of the arts in providing a voice for older people and bring local communities and people  in care homes closer together

Amount of funding available

A total of £1 million will be invested in the programme over three years. We envisage supporting around four innovative and ambitious proposals which aim to develop new approaches and strengthen partnerships between residential care providers and arts practitioners and providers.