What We Do

We are a leading creative ageing charity supporting older people in Newcastle, Gateshead and across the UK.

Our team works to improve the lives of older people through creativity and our arts activities around the North East provide creative opportunities to help improve people’s wellbeing.

We strongly believe in the health benefits of the arts and support care staff and artists to deliver musical, visual and movement-based creative activities with active older people and those living with dementia.

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In recent years we have explored the effects of creative activity on people experiencing early signs of dementia, and people over 60 who were isolated and therefore at risk of developing mental health problems.

Evaluation by Centre for Public Policy, Northumbria University, LODEX and Mental Health Concern found significant benefits for participants in terms of wellbeing. The most significant improvements were an increased sense of belonging and the quality of relationships with others. Participants had increased levels of confidence, a sense of enjoyment, happiness, and purpose with increased energy and motivation. For some the changes were so profound they began to feel differently about their lifestyles and had begun to make positive changes.

Jackie Murray

Jackie Murray, manager at Oakdale Lodge Care Home in South Shields, became involved with us through our Creativity Matters programme.

The £388,000 five-year-project sees us create dance, movement and music with active older people and residents in dementia care settings.

Jackie said: “Creativity Matters has had such a positive impact upon the residents and staff.

“Understanding the positive outcomes that are realised through music has helped us to embrace it. We now have our own musical instruments and music is a massive part of our everyday lives.

 “The residents join in and they will sing and some who can will dance. The happiness and feelings of wellbeing is evident in their response. Families also feedback to us regularly how good it is to see their loved ones enjoying and getting involved with musical activities.”

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