We’re hearing more and more in the news about the negative effects of loneliness, according to research it’s deadlier than obesity, increasing our risk of premature death by up to 26%. It particularly affects older people with one in 10 people aged 65 or over say they are always, or often, feel lonely.
We’ve been thinking quite a lot in the Made in Corby office about how arts activities can help combat the negative effects of loneliness. Local people who have attended our events have told us that one of the best things about arts activities are “meeting new people” and “how it brings the community together, meeting new people and learning different experiences”. 81% of people surveyed at this summer’s Grow festival thought that the festival made them feel that they are part of a strong community. And since 17.3% of the population of Corby Borough are over 65 years old, we are particularly concerned with what loneliness might be doing to our older people.
So, this autumn we’re launching our new Connect strand, which will offer free and accessible creative arts activity in residential care settings and sheltered housing. Over the next 6 months, we will be hosting a series of taster sessions, giving older people the opportunity to socialise whilst trying out creative activities such as dance, writing, music, ceramics and craft. We’re also working with The Core at Corby Cube and Hat Fair, an arts festival in Winchester, to create a Recycled Silent Movie. Created by groups of older people from both Corby and Winchester, the film will use archive footage of both towns and be screened alongside a live musical score performed by young musicians at The Core at Corby Cube in December.
After the taster sessions on our Connect strand, we’re planning an even bigger project to develop and showcase the creative talent of older people in Corby. There will be further details of this in the early 2019, so please keep an eye on our website and join our e-newsletter for find out more. For those of you who aren’t connected to the internet, you find us in Corby Library from 10am to 1pm on the first Thursday of every month to find out about our plans.
Blog by Helen Willmott, Programme Director Made in Corby