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Arts and Culture benefits residents in care homes

2 October 2017

An exciting new programme is aiming to put arts and culture at the centre of care by helping develop relationships between older people and care staff.

Funding from Arts Council England for £125,000 has enabled Essex County Council to launch the programme with Anglia Ruskin University.

Entitled Creative Journeys, the programme focuses on older people who live in care homes or attend day care sessions spread across eight venues throughout Essex.

It involves four innovative cultural organisations including: Age Exchange, Magic Me, Orchestras Live in partnership with Sinfonia Viva, and Green Candle Dance Company.

In Brentwood, Orchestras Live is working with the renowned Sinfonia Via orchestra to create new songs with residents and staff at four care homes in Brentwood throughout September.

The participants will perform their new songs alongside Sinfonia Viva in a celebration concert at Bishops Hill Adult Community Learning centre on the 23 October at 2pm.

The care homes taking part in the project are Howards Lodge, The Beeches, Brookes House and The Squirrels.  

The key aims of the programme are:
  • Develop a sustainable model through shared knowledge and learning, which benefits care home residents.
  • Improve social relationships between residents and carers, improving wellbeing and health through creative engagement.
  • Provide evidence to highlight, and advocate for, the developmental benefits of ongoing integrated arts provision.
  • Broaden Essex artists opportunities for creative partnerships with local care homes and daycentres.

Cllr Susan Barker, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Customers, said: “We are constantly looking for new ways to join up our approach, looking at how one service we provide can work with another to provide long lasting benefits in new ways. In this instance it is a new and innovative collaboration between our cultural development and adult social care teams.

“Working with our academic partners at Anglia Ruskin, we are proving conclusively that introducing arts and culture in care homes provides a wealth of health and wellbeing benefits to both residents and carers.  

“The Arts Council has very generously dedicated funding to this project, the outcomes of which we are only beginning to feel. I am certain that this work will have real and lasting impacts for many years.”

Read more about the programme or contact Andrew.Ward@essex.gov.uk for more information.