Magic Moments in Essex
Between August – October 2021, Magic Me connected Care Professionals in Essex with artists Lily Ash Sakula and Georgia Akbar. Together they designed and facilitated new creative activities with Care Home Residents.
Care Homes outlined the following aims which guided activity design and delivery:
- Creating meaningful connections with Residents unable to (or who prefer not to) leave their bed or room and those less likely to join group activities
- Developing new creative experiences for a wide range of Residents including people living with a Dementia
Connecting care professionals and artists
“Magic Me was the magnet that drew everyone together.”
Care Professional, Quenby Care Home
Magic Me delivered weekly creative sessions with two pilot care homes; Quenby and Edensor. Artists and staff tested different activities which incorporated sensory experiences such as light, touch and colour, as well as experimental film-making and mindfulness.
Artists offered in-depth support to staff across the home to develop and deliver activities, both in group and 1-to-1 settings. Care Staff were encouraged to feed into the creative process and think about ways they can extend activities in the future.
Building a wider network
Alongside weekly workshops at two pilot homes, Magic Me brought together a wider group of Care Professionals from six additional homes at a monthly network meeting to discuss the activities that were being developed and provide staff with a space to connect and share their expertise.
The network trialed three ‘sensory experiments’ in their own homes and gave feedback that supported the creation of the Magic Moments Activity Pack – a free creative resource for Activity Workers, Care Professionals and Carers.
Magic Me’s previous work with Essex County Council
Essex County Council are also a partner in Magic Me’s 4 year Artists’ Residencies in Care Homes programme which began in 2019. The programme sees 4 cutting edge arts organisations partner with 4 Exelcare care homes in different towns in Essex.
In 2016 Susan Langford, our Director, was commissioned to support the setting up and delivery of the Creative Journeys, run by Essex County Council with Anglia Ruskin University and funded through Arts Council England. Susan ran a training day for artists from across Essex and co-led the recruitment and selection process to choose two artists for an intergenerational project in Rochford. She then mentored artists Emma Curtis and Jane Gull as they designed and delivered a term long project Party Time.
Susan then worked with the Essex Cultural Development team to run four training days for care home Activities Organisers across the county, on ways to use the arts and intergenerational activity to enhance quality of life for older people.
Photo credits on this page: Lily Ash Sakula and Georgia Akbar