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Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation announce the successful applicants to the Arts and older people in care programme

  • Date: 18 December 2013
  • Area: National
'Remember Me', an annual project from The Courtyard's Art and Older People's programme.

'Remember Me', an annual project from The Courtyard's Art and Older People's programme.. Credit: The Courtyard

Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation are today announcing the four successful applicants to their jointly funded Arts and older people programme.

The programme aims to reach the 400,000 older people currently in residential homes, many of whom are often excluded from the benefits of taking part in arts and culture.

The successful applicants are:

Arts for Health Cornwall & Scilly Isles (AFHC)

The Courtyard which will work with older people in the County of Herefordshire 

We do. which will benefit older people in West Yorkshire

Abbeyfield in Nottingham

Projects delivered by these organisations include the launch of We do's project @home; a club for residential and nursing homes and arts and cultural providers offering a programme of arts events in care homes and at cultural venues across West Yorkshire.                                        

The Abbeyfield Society, a charity that provides housing, support and care for older people, plan to use the grant to develop an arts programme called Imagine, which will enable older people in residential care in the East Midlands to have access to the arts. The programme will include artist residencies, commissions and opportunities to see and participate in regular arts activities and events. The project will balance actual visits to and from artists with ‘virtual’ visits using digital technology.

The Courtyard will use the £250,000 grant in partnership with Shaw Health Care, to set up participatory arts projects in 32 of Shaw’s care homes in the West Midlands, South East, South West, the East Midlands and London. These will be led by four specialist arts practitioners with expertise in visual art, theatre, dance and poetry.

Also funded is a three year programme called Home Service, an innovative collaboration initiated by AFHC between major arts organisations in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and residential care providers, which will explore how high-quality creative arts can engage, invigorate and give a voice to older people in residential settings. 

Jayne Howard, Director, AHFC said:
‘I am absolutely delighted that Arts for Health Cornwall has been awarded this funding and can’t wait to get started on an exciting programme of work with all our partners. We believe that older people living in care homes have the right to engage with the arts and cultural opportunities on offer to the rest of the community and this funding provides a fantastic opportunity to see that happen here in the south west.’

Peter Bazalgette, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
‘There are currently over 400,000 older people in residential homes, many of whom are often excluded from the opportunities and benefits that taking part in arts and cultural experiences bring.

There is a real potential to bring about a step change in the quantity and quality of arts activity that older people in residential care have access to across England and this programme is a great start. And what’s more – the lessons learned from this work will be actively promoted and shared so that other care providers and arts organisations can adopt similar projects.’

Links and further information

Read about the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Taking Part surveys, which have shown that, despite the positive impact that the arts can have on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of older people, those aged 75 or over have a much lower engagement in the arts than other age groups.

Find out more about the Arts and older people in care commissioned grant, which aims to address this by building 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.

Explore Age of Creativity, an online platform to share, celebrate and inspire work in the field of arts and older people, supported by the Baring Foundation.

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