'Happy Place’ initiative launched for county’s most vulnerable and isolated
A new programme has launched in Essex to support some of the county’s most vulnerable people who have been, and still are, experiencing isolation due to the pandemic.
As Essex comes out of lockdown, ‘This Happy Place’ aims to build the resilience of those living with dementia in the community and their carers, as well as those in care settings so that they can have a fulfilling return to society.
‘This Happy Place’ has launched online initially, with an in-person, 12-week programme to follow. It will see participants take part in an exciting range of cultural activities with a number of organisations and services including:
- Essex Wellbeing Service
- Essex’s Dementia Action Alliances
- Carers First and the Alzheimer’s Society
Participants will also work with some of the UK’s leading arts and health organisations, including:
- Age Exchange
- Green Candle Dance Company
- Orchestras Live
- Sinfonia Viva
- Magic Me
The programme aims to offer almost 4,000 opportunities for engagement across a range of different activities, sessions and classes.
Through these activities, which will be online and in person, ‘This Happy Place’ aims to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of participants impacted by a lack of social engagement caused by the pandemic, by strengthening relationships, sharing experiences and at the same time, learning new skills.
Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr John Spence said: “We know that the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but for the county’s most vulnerable adults, in many cases, it has had a detrimental impact.
“This innovative and fulfilling programme will make such a difference. Not only will those participating meet new people in a social setting - something they have not been able to do in some cases for a long time. They will also be able to take part in a range of activities, such as storytelling, dance and fitness.
“Even though there is now light at the end of the tunnel, looking after the county’s vulnerable remains a key priority for us and this programme is one of many ways in which we are continuing to support those that need it most.
“I would like to thank all the partners and organisations involved for making this possible.”
Participants will be offered to take part through referral via a number of routes.