National charity Contact the Elderly aims to alleviate the loneliness of isolated older people aged 75 and over, who live alone. Supported by a network of volunteer drivers, hosts and coordinators, the charity organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties in local communities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
One of Contact the Elderly’s biggest challenges is reaching those who are completely cut off from society and therefore most in need of our support.
Find out more: www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk
The History Project is where life stories are told better and the moments that matter are preserved into meaningful narratives. The platform empowers individuals, families and groups to connect artifacts and memories across media to build powerful experiential stories that transcend generations.
The company, backed by investors including The New York Times and The Associated Press, is changing how life stories are told.
Find out more: www.thehistoryproject.com
“Falling on your Feet” is a dance programme for over 65s designed to counter social isolation and a fear of falling to reduce admissions to hospitals and care homes in the long term.
Participants co-choreograph a piece of work over three months with a practising artist in a neighbourhood centre. They have fun, get fit – and it’s all for free thanks to an innovation grant from Newcastle/Gateshead CCG NHS.
“Falling on your Feet” is a Helix Arts production with choreographer Nadia Iftkhar.
Northumbria University is supporting Helix Arts programme evaluation.
Find out more – www.helixarts.com
Growing Support turns underused care home gardens into bustling hubs of community activity and thriving growing spaces.
There are 400,000 older people living in care, most of whom have dementia. Studies show residents of care homes spend most of their time doing nothing and are twice as likely to feel lonely as people living in the community. And yet working in care homes, particularly with people with dementia, is one of the least popular forms of volunteering.
Growing Support delivers volunteer led, social and therapeutic gardening activities. This means we run weekly gardening clubs, mostly in care home gardens, where people with dementia are enabled to grow their own food, exercise vital muscle groups, enjoy sensory stimulation, socialise and develop a renewed sense of purpose and achievement.
Our work increases the involvement of the community in care and provides a sustainable solution to loneliness, social isolation and inactivity experienced by people with dementia.
Find out more –www.growingsupport.co.uk
Working with elderly and frail people and people living with dementia in Portsmouth, using the arts to create positivity and confidence.
Using mime, music, monologues, improvisation and forum theatre, we engage and communicate using drama as a tool. Using their words we then take their stories back to our creative team, where they deliver a beautifully illustrated booklet.
Red Sauce also film their sessions for our casts to view, creating a performance and a Theatre Therapy Workshop they can keep.
Find out more – www.redsaucetheatre.co.uk
Equal Arts is a creative ageing charity providing creative opportunities for older people.
Working with a team of artists the charity runs a number of projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of those living with dementia and older people.
They also train care setting staff and artists about the benefits creative care can have for residents.
Equal Arts projects include:
Find out more – www.equalarts.org.uk
Vintage communities bring people together to find local solutions to local problems.
Staff at Vintage Communities work intensively in small areas (usually a ward or smaller) for 6-9 months. They gather enthusiasts, older people, local representatives of clubs and societies together, and act as a facilitator to help the group map their local assets and problems. Older people in the group then take the lead on designing and delivering new initiatives to improve their community.
The first Vintage Community was set up in Balham in 2011 where the group has hosted a street party and an event where neighbours show what they have to offer to others for example cooking, dog walking and teaching a foreign language.
The ultimate goal is for the community group itself to function independently, and so in time staff at Vintage Communities move on to support another community to get started.
For more information see:
For a video detailing their work in Balham;
Spots of Time have a mission to make it easier for people to put their spare ‘spots of time’ to good use in their communities through making it easy for others to share their time and talents with care home residents.
People can get involved by picking from a large range of activities that they can host at their local care homes. Activities such as: sharing your favourite mix tape, gardening tips, learning skills from residents or teaching crafts such as knitting, painting, and collage.
They also provide an opportunity for drama groups to rehearse, for beauticians in training to practice, to share writing or poetry and even to bring your own pet along to meet the residents!
For more information see:
Red and Yellow Care are creating a dementia care home of the future – with purpose-built housing as well as state-of-the-art medical, nursing and personal care for people at all stages of the condition.
The dementia community hasn’t been built yet but the housing will be vibrant, full of light and connected to the outside world to improve cognition. The community will also be an active hub for research, education and training in dementia, partnering with local schools and other public and private institutions to make a significant contribution to the national agenda.