More about Arts Together

Since 2000, Arts Together has been working to improve the quality of life of socially-isolated older people by bringing them together with one another and with professional artists for weekly workshops at venues in three Wiltshire towns – Devizes, Pewsey and Marlborough.  
We provide 36 subsidised places for older people to attend and participate in the weekly sessions. Many have been referred by local authority social workers, mental health teams, or by other local charities because isolation and loneliness are believed to be affecting their health and often compounding physical or mental disability or dementia. 
The weekly sessions aim to:
•    reduce isolation
•    build self-confidence and self-esteem
•    improve quality of life and social relationships
•    encourage independence
•    enhance well-being 
We engage professional artists and facilitators to offer a broad range of participatory arts, creative workshops and cultural events.  The results of these activities are illustrated throughout this website.
We operate with two part-time staff – a manager and a finance manager, both experienced artists and community project professionals. In addition there is a team of carers, a volunteer fund-raiser, session volunteers, occasional support volunteers and our trustees.
We continually evaluate and review the procedures and effectiveness of Arts Together in delivering its core aims. The most recent of these, carried out in 2010, sought to research current evidence to use in assessing the relevance of our provision and our alignment with public and national policies.

A summary of the review carried out at no cost to Arts Together by Whittington Consultants can be found here on our website.

The conclusion of the 2010 review states –

Arts Together can reasonably claim from this review of research evidence that:

  • The experience of loneliness, social isolation and social exclusion, which Arts Together seeks to reduce, is actually and potentially harmful to older people’s mental and physical well-being, in some cases very seriously so.
  • Services, like Arts Together, that are group-based, activity-focused and socially-interactive have been shown to be effective in helping to counter these social harms and are valued by older people in improving their well-being.
  • The particular arts-based, informal learning activities of the kind offered by Arts Together have been shown to add further potential benefits, such as renewed sense of purpose, personal self-expression and re-discovered talents, contributing further to a sense of well-being.

(Whittington Consultants – Aug 2010)