Magic Moments in Essex
Following Magic Me’s success designing and delivering bespoke projects for Care Homes, Extra Care Schemes and other older people’s venues in 2020 – 21, we have received funding from Essex County Council to build upon our work with care professionals.
Between August – October 2021, Magic Me will connect care professionals in Essex with artists. Together they will design and facilitate creative activities that can be delivered with older people with a range of needs. They will focus on how to do this with residents unable to (or who prefer not to) leave their bed or room and those who are or less likely to join group activities.
Connecting care professionals and artists
Led by artists Lily Ash Sakula (them/them) and Georgia Akbar (she/her), Magic Me are delivering weekly creative sessions with two pilot care homes; Quenby and Edensor. Artists and staff will test different ways to engage in activities that use sensory processes (such as light, touch and colour), experimental film-making and mindfulness.
Artists are offering in depth support to staff across the home to develop and deliver activities, both in group and 1-to-1 settings. Care staff are being 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 Quenby and Edensor Care Homes, Magic Me are bringing together a wider group of care professionals from six additional homes to trial activities and share their expertise. Between August – October, we will host a monthly network meeting which aims to provide fresh creative activities, opportunities for care professionals to connect with staff from other care homes and a space to share expertise and ideas.
In September 2021, Lily and Georgia designed three different ‘activity packs’ based on creative sessions delivered at Quenby and Edensor. Over the next month, care homes in the network will use these packs to trial activities in their own home.
Activity packs included an instruction sheet and a selection of materials.
Feedback from the network will inform the development of an online offer for other care homes in Essex.
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 project, run by Essex County Council with Anglia Ruskin University and funded through Arts Council England. She 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.
Magic Moments is funded by Essex County Council
Photo credits on this page: Lily Ash Sakula and Georgia Akbar