Anglia Ruskin University - research and evaluation

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This new round of artists’ residencies provides an opportunity for Magic Me to explore how their established models work in new types of home in a different type of community and what adaptations or innovations might be necessary.  These high profile residencies will provide a focus for both arts and care organisations in the county and Excelcare will share learning with another 29 care homes that they run in London and the east of England.  Working closely with Essex County Council Magic Me plans to build a network of arts organisations and practitioners keen to follow the progress of ARCHE both on-line and through jointly promoted events. They will also work with the council to co-promote the project impact, learning and their expertise and to use the Anglia Ruskin University research and tools to argue the proven case, within and beyond Essex to care providers and commissioners.  Magic Me has already been working with Essex County Council, through their Creative Journeys programme, to help set up intergenerational arts projects and train staff and artists and they will build on what they have learnt from this process into the project.  

Magic Me has 30 years of innovative work in care homes through its experience in delivering intergenerational arts projects.  ARCHE is set up and designed to provide support to all the partners involved, through mentoring, training days and support. With support from a research team at Anglia Ruskin University the project will also explore the collaboration between artists and care home staff in delivering creative arts experiences for older people and develop a best practice toolkit for others working in this area. The personal and societal benefits of older people’s participation in creative arts has been well evidenced by the Baring Foundation and others including and the recent Creative Journeys Research funded by Arts Council England. 

This research conducted by ARU focused on the benefits around social relationships between older people and between older people and care staff, and the wider community. The research indicated that the relationship between arts organisations, artists and care staff is key to the successful delivery of arts activities within residential care homes. The findings from the Magic Me Artists’ Residencies evaluation will offer new evidence for best practice in how arts organisations work with care home staff to provide activities for older people and how artists and care staff can work together to ensure the successful implementation of arts activities.

The research evaluation will be undertaken by Professor Carol Munn-Giddings, Dr Hilary Bungay, Dr Ceri Wilson and Anna Dadswell, a team of researchers based in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Work Anglia Ruskin University. 

“This project is very exciting, it builds on the recently completed Arts Council England Creative Journeys Research, which explored the impact of arts engagement on older peoples’ social relationships in residential care homes. This new project focuses on the working relationships between artists and care home staff to ensure effective delivery of arts activities and we are very pleased to be working with Magic Me, their arts partners and Essex care homes on this project.”

Principal Investigators Carol Munn-Giddings and Hilary Bungay are delighted to be working with Magic Me and the Essex County Council Culture and Community Engagement team


featured image photo by Holly Falconer