Project examples for the Harp Fund
As part of SPAN’s contribution to the response to Covid Crisis and Pembrokeshire’s Campaign for Kindness, SPAN has been delivering a wide range of online artist-led workshop activities in Autumn 2020 in order to improve social connectedness and wellbeing and reduce loneliness and social isolation for all ages.
The project was adapted early in the lockdown in response to the crisis and aimed to connect isolated and elderly people and children through online creative technology sessions, as a recognition that there were many more isolated and elderly people who were housebound, lonely and anxious at this difficult time.
The project aimed to introduce older people to new technologies in an atmosphere of playfulness and experimentation.
A series of 5, artist led online workshop experiences in dance, welsh folk singing, poetry, puppetry and a mindful photography were delivered.
Over 190 attendances took place with 47 people enjoying regular online creative experiences delivered by commissioned artists and musicians Kerry Steed, Jeremy Huw Williams, Richard Chappell, Emily Laurens and Ray Hobbs.
A film is now in production which will tell the story of what we learned.
“I feel better”
“I appreciate being able to come to your group and I enjoy the way you facilitate. It helps me recharge my batteries and boosts my wellbeing.”
Funded by West Wales Care Partnership, WWIK Fund, ACW, Moondance Foundation, PCC
Theatr Soffa was initially conceived by SPAN to creatively connect rurally isolated and housebound individuals across Pembrokeshire with the arts with more innovative use of technology.
Earlier in lockdown, 2 community casts of over 40 people, 1 English speaking and 1 Welsh, rehearsed and performed 2 productions of the renowned story of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, one in English followed by a Welsh language performance of Dan Y Wenallt the Welsh translation by Richard T James. It was so successful that the cast and crew were keen to begin working on another play this Autumn. Little did they know that rehearsals for the 2nd production would fall during the Welsh fire-breaker and would be performed, just as Wales is emerging from it’s second lockdown. This brave and experimental community production has been the perfect project for all the team as many of participants live alone, are older and/or due to shielding are unable to venture out.
“The program put together by Span has helped me by giving me a reason keep my life as normal as possible, a reason to get out of bed get dressed and have a shave!”
“I felt shut away but the project has given me a whole new lease of life”
Funded by: Arts council of Wales, Moondance Foundation, PCC, Leader and Arwain Sir Benfro
A singing project developed in response to the increase in chronic and severe loneliness experienced by older people in the UK and particularly here in Pembrokeshire, where we have a higher than average elderly population, high levels of rural isolation and poor connectivity.
130 people were included, 10 of whom were housebound. Health conditions included dementia, autism, COPD, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, ME and depression.
Through 40 1:2:1 sessions and 2 celebration events the project met its aims and was described as “life-changing”, “important”, “positive”.
People experienced measurable increases in:
• Quality of life
• Digital skills
• Community connections
• Feelings of worth
• Confidence in singing
We were very proud when this project was used as a case study on Wales Arts Health & Wellbeing Network website and also cited in an NHS briefing paper.
“I felt shut away but the project has given me a whole new lease of life”.
Funded by: PAVS, Big Lottery Fund , Arts Council of Wales
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