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Age Exchange was founded in 1983 in the context of the emerging awareness of the value of reminiscence work, especially in care settings for older people. Over the past 27 years we have developed new models of work offering participants a wide range of reminiscence and creative activities. Our creative team has expertise and knowledge of working with diverse communities of all ages in London and across the UK.
Our Person-centred group projects, one-to-one creative caring sessions, arts productions, and training, will be the key elements of the programme outlined below. These selected elements, used both individually and together, are based on the experience of successful projects we have delivered for a number of care organisations including those specialising in dementia and Alzheimer care. The end result is a more assured and engaged mental health service user and a reduction in prejudice felt about users by the general public.
HEARTS AND MINDS:
Project planned in partnership with SLAM for 2011 to 2013
Age Exchange has designed and will be delivering a creative arts and reminiscence programme for people who use mental health services in South London. The programme is funded by the South London and Maudsley Charitable Funds. Throughout the 3 years of activity Age Exchange will work closely with SLAM NHS Trust’s professional nursing and care staff in order to ensure that service users who would most benefit from the creative activities and initiatives on offer, are referred to the programme. All activities will be relevant to users’ needs and interests, and designed to improve mental
well-being and physical health.
Two thirds of the programme is intended for older people and one third for younger people with mental health needs.
This Programme will be delivered to groups of service users at a number of mental health provider units in Croydon, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth. In total Age Exchange will deliver 5 group projects a year lasting 10 weeks each. The programme will also provide isolated people with one to one sessions in their own homes or as bedside care in a hospital or residential care setting. Age Exchange has been funded to deliver a total of 35 one to one sessions a year for 3 years.
Objectives in detail
The specific objectives of the Creative Arts and Reminiscence Programme are to:
Bring users together and develop group dynamics to reduce users’ vulnerability to the effects of isolation, loneliness, and exclusion
The group work will involve Age Exchange project workers bringing users together to work on person-centred activities. We will deliver five separate 10-week projects with different groups. Between 8-10 users will be able to take part in each project session.
Two trained and experienced project workers will facilitate all project sessions. Project workers will be experts in either visual and performance arts or health and social care. The sessions will be structured and themed according to the age range, interest and background of each of the five groups. Activities will use reminiscence, music and singing, movement, mime and role-play, poetry, visual arts and textiles as well as supervised visits to art galleries, museums, and performance venues.
If users are bedridden, housebound or unable to participate in group activity for any other reason, Age Exchange will provide up to 35 one-to-one sessions per year, tailored to the personal needs and interests of individuals. Users will be able to participate in reminiscence, enjoy music, create visual art or poetry, and if appropriate work to create life-story books and memory boxes.
Stage two: Major arts productions
Each year of the project, participants form Stage 1 projects will also have the opportunity to come together to work collaboratively with leading artists on a major mainstream arts production. These are designed both to build on users increased levels of self-confidence and self-esteem realised through project activity, and to counter the prejudice, ignorance and stigma towards mental health service users from elements of the wider community. This will
Age Exchange will run a ‘best practice’ training programme throughout the pilot for nursing and other professional health care staff and family carers. The training programme will consist of:
During the course of this major three-year programme, monitoring and evaluation will take place at all stages. Age Exchange will monitor and report on each project session and referral during Stages one and two. Input and feedback from professional staff as well as users and family carers will also be collected to feed into the monitoring process ensuring that the programme develops according to the needs and interest of all participant service users.
The whole programme will be evaluated externally by Royal Holloway, University of London, with the resulting findings being made widely available both to SLAM and to arts and health professionals. Throughout the programme learning and practice will be disseminated through yearly seminars and lectures.
We anticipate the arts and reminiscence programme designed to meet the needs and interests of the participants and the intense evaluation of the programme, will have a valuable influence on the development of arts practice in mental health in London over the coming years.
Age Exchange – The National Centre for Reminiscence Arts
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Entelechy Arts (Specialist in making and creating diverse arts with vulnerable groups and individuals)
Green Candle Dance Company (pioneering London dance company working with hard to reach communities, and specialising in social and environmental issues) experienced in education projects and black ballet history and archive) The British Film Institute, Southbank
Positive Steps (specialist Black Dance and performance company)
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|© Age ExchangeTheatre
Trust Ltd. 2012 (a company limited by guarantee) Registered
in England No. 1929724.
Registered Office 11 Blackheath Village, London SE3 9LA Registered as Charity No: 326899
Patrons: Roy Hudd OBE Glenda Jackson MP Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford MP Sir Sigmund Sternberg KCSG JP Baroness Greengross OBE