The inaugural NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES will take place in care homes countrywide on TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2019 – an exciting day to highlight the great work in the arts going on in care homes and encouraging more! And today (11/06/19) sees the launch of the brand new ARTS IN CARE HOMES website - www.artsincarehomes.org.uk - for the first time joining all arts resources together and providing everything you need to get involved.

The first ever national day dedicated to the benefits of the arts in care homes will provide a focus to create arts activities for care home residents and staff. With support programmes from art galleries, museums, schools, individuals and arts organisations – NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES will be a special day in care homes to show how important and fun the arts are. From the everyday creative activities organised by the care staff to the large-scale projects with visiting professional production companies performing theatre, music and dance; all are equally important for the residents.

NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES will encourage all care homes to become creative communities on Tuesday 24 September and onwards into the future. With that in mind two brand new arts projects are being launched especially for the NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES giving residents access to the arts:

Only Connect – is a creative letters and pen pal project. There will be an unique resource pack with ideas, writers’ circle, local contacts, in-home post boxes and even original letters actually written & dated 24 September from the Royal Archives and Royal Albert Hall, including a letter written by Vincent Van Gogh on 24 September 1883.

Arts Fund Voucher Scheme – is a new initiative to help relatives and friends become more involved in the life of care homes and to encourage more arts provision. Purchase an Arts Fund Voucher and the care home then uses the voucher to pay towards an arts related project of your choice. Maybe something long term like setting up an inhouse choir, or smaller like an art workshop or an actor coming to read - creativity that your friend / relative would enjoy in the latter part of their lives learning new skills and sharing stories.

The brand new ARTS IN CARE HOMES website www.artsincarehomes.org.uk is the first website to create a user friendly resource for anyone wanting to set up arts activities in care homes. A much needed tool for everyone to share and use from care staff, relatives, volunteers, artists and arts organisations, with contacts, how-to guides, research, case studies, news, ideas, advice, conversations, training and initiative opportunities. Plus everything you need to get involved in the lead up to Tuesday 24 September 2019**.

NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES will involve many arts organisations including: the Royal Albert Hall who will present a Songbook concert with members of their band (care home TBC); the renowned full mask theatre company Vamos Theatre will hold their innovative workshop Listen With Your Eyes for care staff in Kineton Warwickshire and the intergenerational arts charity Magic Me will deliver their pioneering work, bringing school children and older people together in care homes, with delightful results.

Musician and sound artist Nick Jones will be setting one of the special Only Connect letters to an original piece of music – and will be the first Only Connect song to be performed on the first NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES.

Sunrise and Greensleeves care homes staff have already had training for the new Only Connect arts project and have set up their own writers’ circles - and are reaping their rewards as they hear their residents amazing stories. With letters being written, spoken, and painted arts in care homes is getting ready for NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES.

Alison Teader, Project Manager, Arts in Care Homes says: “The arts can bring new life, energy and happiness into care homes. We want to fill the walls of every care home in England with music, colour, words and dance. We can learn so much from supporting people to share their stories and the arts is a powerful means of communication, enabling people to interact and express themselves. Our aim is to ensure that the latter part of people’s lives is fulfilling and stimulating and that they have the chance to make happy new memories to add to a lifetime of experience.”

NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES is jointly funded by The Baring Foundation and The Rayne Foundation.

David Cutler, Director of The Baring Foundation says: “We believe that everyone has a right to participate in arts and culture right up to the end of their lives and wherever they live. Many care homes are becoming increasingly creative places, which is wonderful to see – but there’s room for much more! We hope that National Day of Arts in Care Homes will convey the joy that the arts can bring to residents, staff and families and be an opportunity for as many care homes as possible to get involved in small ways and large.”

Here’s to making NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES an annual event!

Website: www.artsincarehomes.org.uk Twitter: @artsincarehomes #artsincarehomes

**In July the full Only Connect resource pack will be available; as well as the launch of the Arts Fund Voucher Scheme to buy vouchers to make the arts happen in care homes.

For further information, photo and interview opportunities around NATIONAL DAY OF ARTS IN CARE HOMES please contact Deborah Goodman on +44 (0)208 959 9980 / publicity@dgpr.co.uk

Notes to Editors: Alison Teader, Project Manager has over 20 years’ experience of providing arts activities in care homes, working as Arts Co-ordinator for a London based housing provider and as project officer, evaluating arts projects for organisations including Green Candle Dance and Magic Me.

The Baring Foundation is an independent foundation which protects and advances human rights and promotes inclusion. Since 2010, the Foundation’s arts programme has focused on supporting participatory arts with people over the age of 60, particularly those facing disadvantage or discrimination. Over the last nine years, we have funded across art forms (from theatre, to music, to painting, to the circus, to the digital arts) and sought to promote high-quality arts provision in both care homes and in the community.

The Rayne Foundation is a grant-making organisation which looks for creative ways of tackling entrenched social issues through the arts, health, wellbeing and education. It supports projects that can be replicated and led by people with vision. It supports many varied organisations but has three areas of special interest: young people’s mental health, arts as a tool to achieve social change and improved quality of life for older people and for carers.

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