Grant from Care UK wellbeing foundation brings south east London memories to life

June 30, 2016

Older residents from Lewisham and Blackheath will be drawing on their memories of the area to create a theatre performance with the support from a professional musician, thanks to a grant of £2,000 from the Care UK wellbeing foundation.

The foundation, which aims to increase wellbeing through the arts, gave the grant to Age Exchange’s Centre for Reminiscence, which has been helping isolated elderly older people to bring their memories to life on stage for more than 25 years.

The show, Blackheath Stories, will be performed by Age Exchange’s Seniors Theatre Company and will share local reminiscences shared by the cast and other contributors. The show, due to be performed at the charity’s 50-seat Bakehouse Theatre in Blackheath this summer, will be filmed so that participants can have a DVD to watch afterwards.

Rebecca Packwood, Chief Executive at Age Exchange, said: “Grants like these are very important in helping projects that support older people to be creative. By capturing their memories, the participants feel involved and empowered and their stories help build inter-generational bridges, giving younger people in the area a taste of what life was like. By working with other people, our participants experience greater self-esteem and wellbeing, as well as reduced isolation and loneliness.”

Care UK wellbeing foundation board secretary Rosemary Harvey said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the group as its work has drawn in many people who have found loneliness to be a problem. The foundation was set up to help organisations increase wellbeing through the arts and the Age Exchange does exactly that, with theatre and music to bring the reminiscences alive.”

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.