Press Release: Are Cocktail Parties a Human Right?


Are Cocktail Parties a Human Right?

On Human Rights Day 2019 (10TH December), intergenerational arts charity Magic Me asks “Are cocktail parties a Human Right?”. Their answer: “Maybe not…” but Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does say “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts” and Magic Me believe that shouldn’t stop just because you’ve moved into a care home.

Magic Me has been working creatively with people living in care homes since 1989.  The majority of their work brings together school age children with older people to work on arts projects.  Feedback from care home residents suggested that they’d love something fun and creative to do in the evenings too and Magic Me responded with the Cocktails in Care Homes project.  Celebrating its tenth birthday in 2020 parties now happen in 17 care homes and extra care schemes across London from Goldhawk Road to Leytonstone (1).  In a new series of podcasts Magic Me staff, experts, residents and volunteers share knowledge and experience about what makes this project so successful.  They hope that listening to the podcasts will inspire people to think about setting up something similar in their own community and provide a helpful starting point to do so.

There are four episodes – all launched on 10 December which guide the listener through key elements of the project:

Episode 1 – an introduction to the Cocktails in Care Homes project

Episode 2 – understanding dementia

Episode 3 – the role of music

Episode 4 –  how and why Magic Me create bespoke themes for the parties

You can find the episodes here on Spotify

Each episode features a range of voices; care home staff, volunteers, experts in dementia, theme creators and even a care home dj.  The podcasts were created by Phoebe Grudzinskas (Magic Me Cocktails in Care Homes Project Manager) and Georgina Bednar (volunteer podcast producer). (see full episode credits below).

Phoebe says of the project:

“I’ve worked and volunteered on Cocktails in Care Homes for 7 years and I see every week just what a difference the project makes to the lives of people living in care homes and also to the staff who care for them and to the volunteers who are so essential to making the parties happen.  I really wanted to capture the essence of the project and share it to a much wider range of people, doing this through a series of podcasts means you get to hear the real variety of people involved and all sorts of expertise and experience that go into making Cocktails in Care Homes a success. I’m a big podcast fan and I was really keen to make these podcasts something interesting and fun to listen to – I really hope people like them and find them inspiring and useful.”

The project was made possible by a donation from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery part of which was to help the charity enhance its digital presence.