As part of the collaboration, named ‘Where the Arts Belong’, Bluecoat commissioned six critically acclaimed artists, with many years of nationally recognised practice between them, to work in ‘residency’ at Belong villages in Crewe and Chester.
Residents, family members and support teams were engaged in extensive arts programmes, boasting over 70 different workshops ranging from storytelling and sculpture to music and dance.
Evaluation showed that these initiatives improved the lives of the individuals involved, especially those living with dementia. Results included high participation, enhanced cognitive capacity, improved mood and an increased sense of community amongst previously isolated individuals.
The learnings from these artist residencies have been adopted to inform arts provision across Belong villages, as well as Belong’s home care service, Belong at Home.