£10,000 grant to help fund creative dance projects

Residents of Abbeyfield in Alnwick with instructor Emma Dunn, Equal Arts director Douglas Hunter, musician Alistair Anderson and members of the Friends of Abbeyfield.
Residents of Abbeyfield in Alnwick with instructor Emma Dunn, Equal Arts director Douglas Hunter, musician Alistair Anderson and members of the Friends of Abbeyfield.

An Alnwick care home’s friends group has been given £10,000 for pioneering sessions improving the wellbeing of those living with dementia.

The Big Lottery Awards for All funding has given the funds to the Friends of Abbeyfield, a group set up by relatives and staff at the Alnwick care home, to provide quality of life opportunities.

With more than 20 residents, some with severe health conditions and dementia, the home has been hosting sessions run by Equal Arts and Dexterity, a group of older dancers led by professional dancer Emma Dunn.

Having seen first-hand the positive impact creativity can have on residents, the group plans to spend the £10,000 on further projects throughout 2015 to improve the wellbeing of residents.

Audrey Appleby, chairman of the Friends of Abbeyfield, said: “We have never had any funding of this kind and so it’s overwhelming to have the ability to bring in these creative projects we know residents enjoy and which can benefit their lives.

“Abbeyfield has this buzz about it, people come in and comment on the great atmosphere.

“This is down to Dexterity. The residents remember and look forward to these sessions.”

Dexterity sees active older people learning contemporary dance moves alongside strengthening exercises to improve balance and posture.

Joanna Clark, Abbeyfield manager, said: “The visual benefits witnessed by residents’ families have been very positive. Certain residents who suffer from dementia have responded exceptionally well and residents and staff have had a boost in morale since Dexterity started their sessions. We are looking forward to this continuing.”

For more contact Emma Dunn on 07920 514401.