Care home residents and older people in the community can now enjoy Swaledale Festival

June 9, 2016

Thanks to a grant from the Care UK wellbeing foundation, residents in care homes and people in isolated areas who don’t have access to transport will be able to enjoy concerts at this year’s Swaledale Festival.

Dr Susan Miller (left), resident Nancy Thomas (centre), and Care UK regional director Dianna Coy (right) with the £2,000 grant from the Care UK wellbeing foundation.

Dr Susan Miller (left), resident Nancy Thomas (centre), and Care UK regional director Dianna Coy (right) with the £2,000 grant from the Care UK wellbeing foundation.

The £2,000 grant has enabled the Swaledale Festival to schedule six concerts in care homes across Richmondshire during the two week festival (28 May-11 June) that celebrates music and arts in Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale.

Organiser Jill Armstrong said: “The homes will be visited by duet Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman. Patricia sings and Matt plays a variety of instruments and they’re very popular with older people. Music is very therapeutic, particularly for those people living with dementia and I know the homes are greatly looking forward to the visits.”

Singer Patricia Hammond (left) from the Wandering Minstrels and The Terrace resident Nancy Thomas (right) at the special performance on 1 June.

Singer Patricia Hammond (left) from the Wandering Minstrels and The Terrace resident Nancy Thomas (right) at the special performance on 1 June.

The grant will also enable the festival organisers to run a community bus to and from 10 of the concerts for those who are no longer able to drive or who have no access to transport.

Jill added: “Many older people feel isolated as they cannot access arts venues easily and, for those who’ve been bereaved, going to a concert with other people is less daunting and is a source of conversation and company. The free bus is also available to under-19s, who qualify for £3 concert tickets, as we’re keen that younger members of the community can enjoy the wonderful music in some of our more remote concert locations.”

Rosemary Harvey, Care UK wellbeing foundation board secretary said: “The board members are very excited that the grant has enabled the festival to open up so many concerts to the broadest possible range of people in the community. The foundation was set up to help organisations increase wellbeing through the arts and these initiatives do just that. We’re also delighted that one of our own care homes, The Terrace in Richmond, is to host one of the concerts.”

The Wandering Minstrels' Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman (left) with Dr Susan Miller (centre) and Care UK regional director Dianna Coy (right).

The Wandering Minstrels’ Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman (left) with Dr Susan Miller (centre) and Care UK regional director Dianna Coy (right).

On Wednesday 1 June the Wandering Minstrels – Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman – visited the home as part of the festival’s outreach programme.

Dianna Coy, Care UK regional director, said: “Residents and the team had a fantastic time when Patricia and Matt from the Wandering Minstrels visited The Terrace. We believe that maintaining a close link with the local community is an important part of the care and support we provide to residents, some of whom have lived in the area for many years. The Swaledale Festival outreach programme, which the Care UK wellbeing foundation has helped to support this year with a £2,000 grant, means that even more people can enjoy these wonderful performances.”

The Care UK wellbeing foundation is encouraging local grass roots charities to apply for funding for anything from £50 to £2,000. Anybody can nominate a charity.

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