An innovative and comprehensive programme of creative opportunities aimed at improving and enhancing the quality of life, health and social integration of older people in Calderdale.
Changing Landscapes is a project that provides free workshops for a broad range of people over 50 who would like to develop a creative interest and skills, and contribute something positive to their community. The overall aim of the project is to support the care sector to make sure older people’s emotional and creative wellbeing is always considered.
Verd de Gris, which runs the projects, works closely with local partners to assess and respond to the changing care environment in Calderdale. The workshops take place in the day and residential care, community centres and other venues agreed by partners. Particular emphasis is placed on supporting people experiencing early signs of dementia, and people over 60 who are isolated and therefore at greater risk of developing mental health problems. Workshops are based on intergenerational exchange, visual arts, dance and movement, creative writing and reminiscence.
A key part of the project is the creation of a dance and movement group focussing on both the social, physical and emotional aspects of moving and being together. These sessions have been developed in association with the Alzheimer’s Society.
The project’s aim is to provide an innovative range of creative/cultural opportunities directed at improving/enhancing the quality of life, health and social integration of older people in Calderdale. Changing Landscapes improves older people’s health and wellbeing holistically by addressing a broad range of factors which impact on their quality of life and wellbeing through the innovative use of the arts.
The work has been supplemented by a pilot staff training programme and a 5-week enrichment programme for students at a local high school, designed to engage care staff and students in the debate surrounding culture, ageing and social care.
The case studies below help to show the impact of Changing Landscapes on two local people. They illustrate how creative approaches such as these are not merely an end in themselves; using engaging activities in this way can positively impact on other aspects of wellbeing, supporting recovery and helping to establish important patterns of behaviour such as eating/sharing a meal, conversing and engaging with a group.
Recently, Verd de Gris visited year 4 pupils at Burnley Road Primary School, Hebden Bridge, with members of the Verd de Gris ‘Creative Dementia’ group to host a session of conversation, singing and art. The children produced some poems and songs which they then shared with the ‘Creative Dementia’ group at their class in Hebden Bridge Town Hall.
Read more about the day and the children’s poems on Issuu.
You can also read Norma’s experiences, as told by her daughter, of the ‘Creative Dementia’ class on Issuu.
About Verd de Gris
Verd de Gris is a not-for-profit company based in Hebden Bridge, which works to develop a range of stimulating and meaningful projects for older people. As well as creating opportunities for artistic expression it advocates for new ways of working with and responds to the needs of older people.
Partners of Changing Landscapes include Calderdale MBC Day Services, AgeUK Calderdale, Calderdale Forum 50+, Asian Women’s Resource Centre and Calderdale MBC Neighbourhood Schemes.