Since November and through to March next year award-winning charity Create is delivering a multi-artform project with older people at Jewish Care’s Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus in North London. Create’s creativity:revealed programme, carefully designed to meet the participants’ needs, is bringing together residents of Otto Schiff and Rela Goldhill home, Selig Court independent living departments and Michael Sobell Jewish Community Centre to explore themes of individual, local and community identity through photography, visual art and music.
A paper by Marcus Rand of the Campaign to End Loneliness (CtEL) states that one in 10 people over 65 feel chronically lonely all or most of the time. Age UK research shows that two fifths of all older people in the UK (almost 4 million) say that television is their main companion. Increasingly, organisations such as the CtEL consider isolation as having a seriously damaging impact on health. The CtEL website says a lack of social connections is “a risk factor for early death”.
Through Create’s collaborative creative activities, led by its professional photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra and professional visual artist Daniel Lehan (musician TBC), creativity: revealed gives older people the opportunity to form new friendships, develop new skills and grow in confidence and self-esteem.
David, 90, who has been attending the creativity:revealed workshops, said: “I love to be creative and I was thrilled when I found out the project was going to be photography. My wife has had dementia for around four years and much of my week is structured about what she’s going to do. She goes to a specialist centre for people living with dementia on Mondays and Thursdays and that’s when I come here. One participant at creativity:revealed is 97 and I’m 90. Everybody is very nice and we’re all made to feel important.”
Create’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Nicky Goulder said: “Collaborative creativity can make a really positive impact on people’s wellbeing, providing a supportive outlet for emotions and a meaningful activity through which people can socialise. We’re delighted creativity:revealed is providing the older people at this very special centre with a valuable creative and social outlet and can’t wait to see the creations that they produce.”
Simon Morris, Jewish Care’s Chief Executive, said: “Art and creative activities provide a meaningful way for older people to be stimulated and connect with others. Our clients are really enjoying the creative photography projects as well as the opportunity to create new relationships across Jewish Care homes and services in our Campus whilst they explore identity, memory and community together.”