Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Isolation is a major problem within our community. It’s been estimated that loneliness can have the same impact on health and wellbeing as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Our project will train up to 12 learning disabled adults and 3 mental health service users to provide creative film and art sessions for up to 30 older people and those living with dementia in York. Connecting and engaging isolated members of our community using digital media, providing training and improving health and wellbeing.

We've identified the need for creative interactions for older people and those living with dementia in residential care homes. Creative activities can have a huge impact on wellbeing, helping people reconnect with themselves and those around them. We’ve worked with our learning-disabled apprentices in one local care home, exploring how we can support residents and staff to be more creative. We’ve identified that iPads are a low-cost and accessible way to provide interactive creative activities for residents, either through simple creative apps or by creating short memory box films. These films are made by our apprentices, working alongside residents using their photographs and aural memories. The films and creative apps can be accessed by residents at any time, with basic support from care staff. We want to roll this model out across more care homes in York, reaching more people living with dementia. Funding will pay for equipment, creative activities and training for both our apprentices and volunteers and for care home staff (ensuring that the creative activities will continue after the project ends). The project will benefit the older people and staff within the care homes. The training provided will also benefit our learning-disabled apprentices and the mental health service users who volunteer with us. And the project promotes cross-community connections, supporting vulnerable groups to support each other. It will run from January to December 2018.

This project will provide 10 x 5-hour training sessions for up to 12 learning disabled adults and 3 volunteers who access mental health services. Training will teach them how to co-deliver creative activity sessions for older people living with dementia and their carers. We’ll work in 2 care homes in York, to provide at least 5 creative sessions for up to 30 older residents. We’ll also deliver 3 training sessions for care home staff in each home.

The project will be self-sustaining once the initial training is complete. Care homes will benefit from having equipment and staff trained and confident in how to use simple apps to engage residents in creative activities. We’ll continue to work with the care homes in the future, as part of our ongoing AbleWeb York project, supporting any technical issues arising with the iPads, providing refresher training and working with residents and our apprentices to create more memory films.

Accessible Arts & Media has been offering high quality, fun creative learning projects for disabled and disadvantaged people in and around York since 1982. Our activities support independence, resilience and recovery and focus on bringing people together. Current programmes include: Apprentice training where learning disabled adults train to co-lead workshops; Hands & Voices, an inclusive singing and signing choir; iMUSE: interactive, multi-sensory creative therapy for people experiencing anxiety and pain due to physical, cognitive and mental health issues; IMPs: an inclusive music group for disabled and non-disabled young people; Sensory Programme: supporting those with profound and multiple disabilities to develop communication and motor skills. We have 3 full-time and 6 part-time staff, over 50 volunteers and engage over 800 participants each year.

Project Video

Accessible Arts & Media

Bringing together very different and often-overlooked members of our community to work together and support each other is an absolute joy. It produces sparks of creativity and engagement that you couldn't achieve in any other way. This is at the heart of everything we do at Accessible Arts & Media.

Location: York