Last week, I attended a networking session at the Royal Albert Hall focused on professionals who support older people in the Charity and Arts sectors. The idea was to encourage the sharing of informal discussions on how older people and the Arts coincide and what opportunities can be provided for our ageing population.
The Royal Albert Hall’s own outreach services aim to enable a wide range of people to experience the Royal Albert Hall. Most striking of these is the annual Friendship Matinee which is a specially programmed matinee performance in the main auditorium providing people who are part of a charity or community group, and those who may not usually come to the Hall, the opportunity to see world-class shows for just £5.
One of the most interesting organisations was Flourishing Lives who describe themselves as a London-wide coalition of organisations taking a creative, relational approach to supporting richer, more independent lives for older people.
We believe that building quality relationships is the heart of our work – genuinely engaging with older people as unique individuals and forming close bonds with the dedicated staff and volunteers who work alongside them.
We connect practitioners, day centres, major arts organisations, health & fitness initiatives and community outreach programmes so that knowledge, research and resources can be shared and the very highest level of practice can be established across the sector.
This sounds like a useful and exciting project although the challenges of connecting these diverse sorts of organisations and scaling up existing initiatives should not be underestimated.
For more information about Flourishing Lives and how to get involved, visit http://flourishinglives.org/ In particular, the training they are offering looks worth exploring.