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Arts and Culture benefits residents in care homes

Date published: 27/09/2017

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Essex County Council has devised an exciting new programme which will explore the role of arts and culture in care home settings by developing and maintaining social and caring 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 Customer said, “Introducing arts and culture in care homes provides a wealth of benefits to residents and carers, and I am delighted that we are able to facilitate cultural organisations in Essex through funding from the Arts Council.  
“We are proud to work closely with cultural organisations in Essex who deliver valuable work to bring our communities closer together. Our Strategic Grants schemes help to support local communities in Essex, and it is fantastic to have incentives to invest in arts and culture that help to strengthen care practices for older people.”
For more information about the programme, visit http://www.orchestraslive.org.uk/news/creative-journeys-plans-essex/  or contact Andrew.Ward@essex.gov.uk for more information.