NHG awards funding for art and music therapy for older residents

Two charities have successfully applied for funding from the NHG Wellbeing Foundation to continue to offer art and music sessions for older residents.

Shapeshifter Productions, a charity that plays and sings music at sheltered schemes, and Cubitt, an artists foundation that aims to raise awareness of art in society, successfully applied to the Wellbeing Foundation. This grant producing arm of NHG helps sustain, empower and create great places for residents and the wider community. NHG colleagues can sponsor organisations and support them apply for grants between £5,000 and £50,000.

Having received £32,703, Shapeshifter’s fortnightly ‘Smiling Sessions’ (group singalongs led by professional musicians) will take place for the next six months at four supported schemes: Bishops Wilfred Wood Court in Newham, Heavitree Court in Walthamstow, Ernest Harriss House in Kensington and Chelsea and Somer Court in Fulham. All attendees will receive a large-print songbook and recorded CD.

Alison Jones, Artistic Director at Shapeshifter Productions, said: "We are delighted and honoured to be awarded a grant for a second time from the NHG Wellbeing Fund to deliver The Smiling Sessions, our participatory singing project for older people. This in turn will enable us to extend our developing partnership and good work with NHG Housing.

“The grant means we are able to reach more elderly residents across deprived areas of London who may suffer from loneliness or low self-esteem. Our aim is to try and bring some joy, well-being and friendship back into their lives through regular group singing. We are very excited to be working together again.”

Meanwhile, Cubitt – which already has two studio spaces and leads artist-run sessions at Mildmays, a supported scheme in Islington - was awarded £23,000 by the GWF to run two additional studios at Lee Samuel House in Brixton later this Autumn.  Originally a hairdresser’s, the room has been vacant for a while and will now become two rented studio spaces for two socially engaged artists who will also deliver one to one and group creative sessions for residents.

The Wellbeing Foundation invites applications from organisations that can demonstrate how their projects help to support our residents’ social, health and financial wellbeing, getting support to find work or setting up their own business. Applications are invited usually twice a year, in November to January to apply. All applications must be sponsored by an NHG employee. For more information, please contact GWF@nhg.org.uk

Are you a residents association that would like additional funding to run a project in your area? If so, please email us at the address above or look at our website.