Supporting older people in Surrey

Over the past year we have made a number of grants in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey to support older isolated people to stay active feel included see some of our highlights below:

£1,500.00 to The Lightbox in Woking to fund more frequent ‘Conversations in the Gallery’ sessions for older people

Marilyn Scott, Director notes that: “Conversations is a programme of regular interactive gallery discussions for older people, led by artists, curators, or art historians…These sessions are an opportunity for older people to get together and have a friendly, informal, but enlightening discussion about some of the artworks. Objects that might bring the works to life are often introduced and there’s always time for a cup of tea or coffee. These sessions will reduce social isolation, offer opportunities to socialise, and will also help promote health and well-being through learning and participation.

With the funding provided by The Pargiter Trust, The Lightbox will “be able to increase the frequency of these workshops to bi-monthly, as they are becoming increasingly popular. There are 15-20 people per session and approximately 60% are people with dementia and 40% are their carers.”

£750.00 to MGSO4 Epsom and Ewell Arts Festival to support a programme of outreach arts activities in 2017, aimed at vulnerable and disadvantaged groups

Maria Reeves notes that the Festival is aimed at “reducing social isolation; improving community cohesion; promoting inter-generational collaboration; encouraging volunteering; and improving individual’s well-being through the creative arts.”

£9,500 to establish GoodGym in Woking; a project tackling isolation within the elderly population, encouraging community cohesion and promoting exercise

Described as “One of the world’s most innovative ageing projects”, GoodGym is a community of runners who get fit by doing good; doing physical tasks that benefit their community. The funding will cover the costs of establishing GoodGym Woking – the first in Surrey.

Runners will run to make social visits to isolated older people; and will run missions for these older people; clearing gardens, changing lightbulbs and doing odd-jobs for people who struggle to do them alone.

The Pargiter Trust Fund was particularly excited to be the ‘founder funder’ of Goodgym in Surrey – as the Fund is keen to support innovation. An area of need that GoodGym has particularly focused on is loneliness and isolation amongst older people, with over 1 million people aged 65 and over admitting to always or often feeling lonely, and 17% of those living alone seeing family and friends less than once a week.

Bringing this project to Surrey will advance GoodGym’s aim of getting people all over the world off treadmills and into their communities in addition to tackling isolation. We look forward to seeing GoodGym “up and running” in Woking in the near future!

£1,500.00 to Music in Hospitals to put on music concerts across Surrey to benefit elderly people in healthcare facilities

Emily Winchester, from the Walton-based charity notes: “Research has shown that the introduction of live music into healthcare settings enhances the quality of life of patients, improves communication, empathy and understanding of patients’ needs, and reduces stress and the perception of pain, sometimes leading to the reduction of medication required. There is strong evidence that live music induces positive physiological and psychological changes in clinical outcomes, which can result in shortening the length of stay in hospital.

“One of our main objectives is to enhance memory, improve communication, express feelings and assist with rehabilitation of elderly people who may be living with dementia. We will also look to improve quality of life and wellness, reduce stress and create accessibility to high quality live music for this target group, who might not have the opportunity to partake in cultural activities otherwise.

“Music is used with older people to increase or maintain their level of physical, mental, and social/emotional functioning. The sensory and intellectual stimulation of music can help maintain a person’s quality of life.”

£2,500.00 to The Orchard Dementia Centre towards – a day centre providing support for Alzheimer’s sufferers

This will enable the centre in Chertsey to continue to serve and benefit the community of North Surrey.

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