ART:LINKS

Reducing isolation and fostering imagination in vulnerable older people

art:links

I watched how much concentration and focus was going on in the group.  The smiles on faces. I watched one person with dementia transition over the four weeks as he became more independent and communicative with us all.”

community partner

the project

We developed our art:links project to connect, empower, inspire, upskill and enhance the wellbeing of older adults. It brings together vulnerable older people in day centres and care homes for friendship, self-expression and creative release.

“i’ve learnt that i can have a go at things. i can try things out and i can make a fool of myself if i want to and that’s okay because other people don’t even notice when i do.”

participant

Our high-quality creative workshops are designed to stimulate and engage our participants as they explore their creativity, and build new relationships, communication skills and trust.

Each workshop is a chance to make new friends and create together, led by our professional artists who ensure everyone feels encouraged, listened to and valued. This helps to reduce feelings of isolation and low self-worth.

the need

Isolation among older people is a major problem in our ageing society. According to research by Age UK (2021), 1.4 million older people in the UK regularly feel lonely while nearly two million older people do not feel valued as an older member of society.

The Eden Alternative identifies the three plagues of old age as loneliness, helplessness and boredom. The Inequalities in Social Capital by Age and Sex (July 2015) by the ONS states that people aged 75 and over were the least likely to have at least one close friend. 11% of them reported having no close friend at all.

“I THINK CREATIVITY IS FUELLED BY SO MANY THINGS LIKE YOUR BACKGROUND, YOUR PERSONALITY, YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCES, EVERYTHING. IT’S REALLY THERAPEUTIC BECAUSE YOU JUST RELEASE SOMETHING.”

participant

Factors such as loneliness and isolation can have a negative effect on our overall wellbeing, so it’s important to provide people with the opportunity to interact with others, be creative and stimulate their imaginations.

OUR IMPACT

0%

OF OLDER ADULTS REPORTED IMPROVED WELLBEING

0%

OF OLDER ADULTS DEVELOPED THEIR CREATIVITY

CASE STUDIES

ARTWORK GALLERY

funding

art:links was funded by Masonic Charitable Foundation; The Mercers’ Company.