Orchestras Live is working with Essex County Council, Sinfonia Viva and partner arts and health organisations on This Happy Place, a project to support some of Essex's most vulnerable people who have been, and still are, experiencing isolation due to the pandemic.
This Happy Place aims to build the resilience of people living with dementia in the community together with their carers, as well as those in care settings, to help them make a fulfilling return to society.
The project will run over several months and feature a combination of digital and in-person workshops. It will see participants involved in an exciting range of cultural activities with a number of organisations and services including: Essex Wellbeing Service, Essex’s Dementia Action Alliances, Carers First and the Alzheimer’s Society.
Participants will also work with some of the UK’s leading arts and health organisations that we worked alongside in a previous Creative Journeys project: Age Exchange, Green Candle Dance Company and Magic Me, with Sinfonia Viva leading the music strand.
The programme aims to offer almost 4,000 opportunities for engagement across a range of different activities, events and classes.
Through these activities, This Happy Place aims to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of participants impacted by a lack of social engagement caused by the pandemic, by strengthening relationships, sharing experiences and at the same time, learning new skills.
Participants will be invited to take part through existing groups and a number of referral routes. Sinfonia Viva will be working in the Basildon area, including with carer support groups, leading to a celebration performance at the Towngate Theatre in the autumn.
We know that the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but for the county’s most vulnerable adults, in many cases, it has had a detrimental impact. This innovative and fulfilling programme will make such a difference. Not only will those participating meet new people in a social setting - something they have not been able to do in some cases for a long time. They will also be able to take part in a range of activities, such as storytelling, dance and fitness.
~ Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care