As well as our core rural touring schemes (Creative Arts East Screen and Live!), we also deliver a variety of projects in the Eastern region, which involve different community groups. Over the last few years, one of our biggest projects has become ‘Our Day Out’. This project began in 2016, with the help of our major funding partner, Spirit of 2012 Trust. As part of the project, we work with professional artists to deliver creative, participatory music and dance workshops specifically designed to involve the older generation in arts and cultural activity. We run sessions twice a month in 6 different locations across Norfolk, with the artists leading the sessions changing every 3 months. The project offers participants the chance to meet new people, have fun, and get creative, all in a dementia-inclusive environment.
Since January, the sessions have been delivered by local musical artists Mary and Kim, and participants have been taking part in singing workshops, singing favourites from yesteryear, learning new styles, and even trying their hand at song-writing! To mark the end of Mary and Kim’s time with our participants, we brought all of the groups together for a ‘Big Sing’ on Thursday 29th March at Dereham Memorial Hall.
The Big Sing was a fantastic celebration of the songs the participants have been learning over the last few months, and it gave everyone the opportunity to meet people from the other groups. Each of the 6 groups had been working on their own verse of the sea shanty ‘In This Windy Old Weather’ over the course of the sessions, and so ‘The Big Sing’ allowed all the groups to join their verses together and create their own personalised version of this classic song. As well as the singing, there was laughter, chatter, and of course, no ‘Our Day Out’ event would be complete without refreshments, so we made sure there was plenty of tea and cake on hand!
Our funders, Spirit of 2012 Trust, attended the Big Sing, and said this about the success of the event:
“It was a great event and the joy amongst participants was palpable when they were singing and in the breaks. It was genuinely moving to see what a great time they were having and the release that singing and being in a group can bring. Spirit of 2012 is very proud to fund such an inclusive and inspirational project, bringing people together to have fun, make friends and explore their creativity. ”
We’ve loved partnering with Mary and Kim, and are looking forward to our next lot of ‘Our Day Out’ sessions kicking off this week! The artists we’ll be working with from April till June will be Tessa Wingate, and Zahara Belly Dance. Half of the groups will make more music with Tessa, while the other half will join Zahara with gentle belly dancing-style movements! Check out the upcoming sessions here!
Wells-next-the-Sea (The Sackhouse at Wells Maltings, Jicklings Yard, Wells-Next-The-Sea, NR23 1AU)
Tuesday 10th April 1pm-3pm
Tuesday 24th April 1pm-3pm
Tuesday 8th May 1pm-3pm
Tuesday 22th May 1pm-3pm
Thetford (Thetford Methodist Church, Tanner St, Thetford IP24 2BQ)
Friday 6th April 2pm-4pm
Friday 20th April 2pm-4pm
Friday 4th May 2pm-4pm
Friday 18th May 2pm-4pm
Dereham (The Meeting Point, St Withburga Lane, Dereham, NR19 1DF)
Friday 13th April 2pm-4pm
Friday 27th April 10am-12pm
Friday 11th May 2pm-4pm
Friday 25th May 10am-12pm
Watton (Christian Community Centre, 57 High Street, Watton, IP25 6AB)
Thursday 5th April 2pm-4pm
Thursday 19th April 2pm-4pm
Thursday 3rd May 2pm-4pm
Thursday 17th May 2pm-4pm
Attleborough (St Mary’s Community Hall, Church Street, Attleborough NR17 2AH)
Friday 13th April 10am-12pm
Friday 27th April 1:15pm-3:15pm
Friday 11th May 10am-12pm
Friday 25th May 1:15pm-3:15pm
North Walsham (Cameo Café, Furze Hill Resource Centre, 73 Happisburgh Road, North Walsham, NR28 9HD)
Thursday 12th April 1:30pm-3:30pm
Thursday 26th April 1:30pm-3:30pm
Thursday 10th May 1:30pm-3:30pm
Thursday 24th May 1:30pm-3:30pm
If you’d like more information about the project, whether it’s joining in yourself or recommending a friend or family member, please do get in touch on 01953 713390. We’re always looking for volunteers as well, so get in touch if you want to give back to your local community by helping out at the sessions.