Helping to improve well-being for older people
The idea of ‘well-being’ has become part of the mainstream of public policy and represents for Arts Together both an important goal and a key indicator against which we can assess our effectiveness.
“Personal well-being is a measure of positive emotions, a satisfying life, resilience and self-esteem; social well-being results from the experience of supportive relationships and a sense of trust and belonging “.
(Michaelson et al, 2009)
Preventative initiatives like Arts Together can reduce or delay the need for more expensive care services, thus saving money in the longer term. We put improved well-being at the heart of what we do and aim to achieve this through encouraging and enabling creative and social activity.
Growing older can bring wisdom, a sense of perspective, time to reflect and experience to share with others. It can also involve change and loss through bereavement, retirement, moving home, temporary hospitalisation or decreased physical and mental capacity, which may in turn bring loneliness and social exclusion. Active participation in creative and social activities of the kind offered by Arts Together can help to counteract some of the negative effects of ageing, isolation and social exclusion.
Independent research, the testimonies of group members and the evidence gathered since 2000 demonstrates that Arts Together is an effective and valuable resource for older people, and for those who work towards their care and well-being.
Ensuring quality and safe practice
To ensure a high quality service we provide ongoing support for artists, volunteers and trustees. We run annual workshops and training for artists and volunteers to enable them in helping older people discover an enhanced experience of life and their potential, regardless of sensory loss, physical disability or failing mental capacity.
All staff, volunteers and artists have enhanced disclosure with the Criminal Records Bureau and follow Wiltshire’s ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults’ procedures as well as our Equalities and Health and Safety Policies and Procedures. Session volunteers are certified in Food Handling and First Aid.
Arts Together is also supported by Friends of Arts Together and welcomes new group members or volunteers.
We would welcome your comments or questions relating to the work of Arts Together.
Please contact Karolyne Fudge-Malik at [email protected]