Dr Jane Mullins Research assistant: health and wellbeing 8 June 2021
It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Awen, firstly a great opportunity to raise the profile of the Awen Institute at the Ageing Better Co Production Festival Stronger Together: A Festival of Co-Production Learning with Ageing Better – Age Better in Sheffield (agebettersheff.co.uk) Here I was able to connect with people from all over the UK to explore ways of engaging people as they age, in developing activities that help engender a sense of community and wellbeing. I was also introduced to a demonstration of their co-production toolkit, a comprehensive resource, available free to all and which will help inform research, practice and policy. Hearing about how many wonderful community initiatives have empowered older people to reconnect with their communities during Covid was deeply moving.
Last week was the annual Arts 4 Dementia, Empowerment through artistic engagement conference, founded by the inspiring art historian, Veronica Franklin. Opened by Baroness Greengross, A4D patron and Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, the conference proved hugely informative about how we can engage with the creative industries to support people living with dementia. The overarching theme of the conference was around social prescribing and seeing how link workers in GP surgeries can connect with local community arts initiatives to help older people, people living with dementia and mental ill health to encourage mental health and wellbeing.
GPs, social prescribers, arts and health organisations, educationalists and funders, innovative and creative ageing specialists, local authorities and policy makers to come together and revolutionise the world of social prescribing to culture and creativity for brain health.
I look forward to collaborating with Veronica and her team in the near future.