Almost £200k For Arts Projects Supporting Older People

Organisations delivering community-based arts projects that benefit older people are to share in almost £200,000 of National Lottery funding.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland announced the money, supported by the Public Health Agency and Baring Foundation, for over 28 organisations in the Older People's Programme. The £199,714 will benefit initiatives that aim to tackle loneliness and promote positive mental health and wellbeing among older people through engagement with the arts.

The cross-governmental programme has been designed to challenge perceptions of what it means to be an older person, which to date has provided £1.8 million to community organisations and voluntary groups in the delivery of 184 projects to older people.

Lorraine Calderwood, Community Development Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, explained how the Arts and Older People's Programme is making a difference to the lives of older people across the region: "Research has proven that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, confidence and motivation, as well as aid in relieving stress, worries and also pain. The Arts and Older People's Programme is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for our older people to take part in arts activities, enriching their lives for the better. The arts have a vital role to play in helping older people find their voice and express the issues which can often affect them on a day-to-day basis, thus promoting positive physical and mental health. The Arts Council is proud to have supported 184 projects since the programme began and we're delighted today to announce that a further 28 projects will be supported with funding of over £199,714."

Play Resource Warehouse, based in North Belfast, has been awarded £7,092 to deliver a project working in partnership with Libraries NI. Together they will work with eight groups of older people, four from Belfast and four that are rurally based, to creative activities to include personal story-telling, calligraphy, weaving, embroidery, photography, ceramic work, mosaic, felt, clay and sound.

Full details of the 28 organisations supported by the programme are available on the Arts Council website.


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