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The role of collaborative working between the arts and care sectors in successfully delivering participatory arts activities for older people in residential care settings


BUNGAY Hilary, et al



In the UK support for older people living in residential care to undertake meaningful activities is provided by Activities Co-ordinators. There is also a growing trend for care home providers to invite arts organisations into care settings to deliver a range of arts and cultural activities. These arts and cultural activities are delivered by Arts Facilitators, who are distinct from Activities Co-ordinators because their practice is specifically in an art form. This paper presents findings from the Creative Journeys research project which focused on exploring the role of participatory arts within residential care home in developing and maintaining social relationships between residents and staff. One of the objectives of the research was to identify factors which facilitated or hindered the delivery and impact of the activities. Data collection methods included observations and semi-structured interviews with residents and staff. Thematic analysis was conducted on the qualitative data. It was found that a key factor in the successful delivery of the groups was the working relationship between the Arts Facilitators and the Activities Co-ordinators. This relationship is explored and presented under three main themes: the collaborative process, practicalities and preparation and the approach of the Arts Facilitator. The Activities Co-ordinators’ role is an under-researched area, but they play a central role in supporting visiting arts organisations to deliver the sessions and in enabling residents to attend and engage with meaningful activities. (Edited publisher abstract)

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