Celebrating creativity in care homes

Today (Friday) is National Day of Arts in Care Homes and we’re celebrating the amazing work taking place at our Mildmays extra care scheme in Islington. 

All Change, a group bringing arts and communities together, have been working with staff and residents over the last 18 months – trying to make lockdown that little bit more bearable. 

One way of doing this was through their Going Places programme, in which All Change and Mildmays worked together to keep people connected. This included garden workshops, virtual artist visits over Zoom, specially curated music playlists and illustrated greeting card workshops in Spring and at Christmas. 

In early autumn last year, associate artist Francesca Beard worked with residents in the garden at Mildmays to create original poems – nine of which were then illustrated by House of Illustration. 

These works were then professionally printed, framed and displayed in the communal areas, bringing a much-needed change of scene for residents and staff alike. 

In between the lockdowns, All Change hosted a series of “Block Parties” at Mildmays, which allowed artists and residents to share poetry, music and dancing. 

Some residents joined Francesca to perform their original poems, while others performed songs and played instruments, while music was provided by DJ Tony Nwachukwu. 

Marion Howell, activities co-ordinator at Mildmays, said:

We had a wonderful evening and, more to the point, so did the residents. They were dancing, singing, reading poetry. The weather was perfect and they all want the team back again.

The next event is on 3 October to mark the UN International Day of Older Persons 2021 – Silver Sunday, alongside the Islington WORD2021 Festival. 

Going Places is supported by Notting Hill Genesis’ wellbeing fund, as well as Islington Council and Islington Giving.