At Magic Me, we recognise that these are incredibly tough times. Our aims of reducing social isolation for older adults living in care contexts has never been more important, and is what drives The After Party project. We aim to ensure that the After Party package functions as a supportive resource to facilitate the meaningful social interaction and sense of community we all need during this time and we are in continuous conversation with our care partners, assessing how best to do this within the changing landscape. Further, Cocktails: The After Party aims to to recognise and celebrate the invaluable work of care staff, not just during this terrible pandemic, but every day, every year.
We understand that the current situation means that staff capacity in care settings to support and engage in creative activity may be reduced – and that access to technology differs across the sector. This is why we are carrying out a bespoke and tailored approach towards supporting residents and staff engagement, ensuring that activities are accessible and take into consideration the practicalities of care staff/ resident interaction during COVID-19 ie. ensuring activities can be engaged with individually (for residents in isolation) or small, socially distanced groups, if group activity is still taking place.
Each month, from April – July 2020, Cocktails: The After Party care partners receive:
-Newsletters with creative actions and activities designed by our artists for residents and staff to take part in remotely, alongside personalised messages from Cocktails Volunteers – to keep participants creative and connected during this time.
-After Party ‘Care Package’ sent via post by Magic Me and our artists, which includes physical items, letters, artworks and physical representations of artworks produced by volunteers and the wider public who’ve taken part in the creative actions from home. ‘Mementos’ for residents and for the home / scheme.
Our current care provider partners engaging with The After Party project are Notting Hill Genesis, Anchor, and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Feedback from our partners so far….
“Staff and customers would like to say a massive thank you to Magic Me for your generosity, especially in troubling times like these it is lovely to see such kind heartedness.”
“We are going to add these activities to our monthly activity sessions and see what residents would like to participate in.”
“It’s nice to see pictures of volunteers.”
“We have received the care packages, thank you for thinking of us. We love the colourful birds!”
“The postcards activity hit a note with the residents, we have sent some out to our volunteers – from Magic Me and others. The legacy of this still goes on and we are still making them. It allows the residents to think about the outside.”
“Receiving ideas from Magic Me is great.”
“Simple ideas work really well. Residents have wide ranging interests so something that offers entry for a variety of people. Activities with different pitches and entry points work well ie. postcards.”
“You are really making a positive impact.”
“It’s the little things – it’s unexpected.”
“You are doing great work.”