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November 25, 2020

Yorkshire Dance presents: new podcast series about their work in care homes

It’s been a difficult time recently, hasn’t it? Like everyone, our work has been impacted by the current situation but here at Yorkshire Dance we’ve been finding new ways to be creative and continue our work on In Mature Company (IMC).

In Mature Company is a creative project that takes dance artists and musicians into care homes to reduce isolation, improve wellbeing and explore the use of touch. The project uses the evaluative tool of Dementia Care Mapping to measure the efficacy of the work and highlight the impact this work can have on residents living with dementia.

Since March 2020 the IMC team have been adapting their approach to creative interventions in care homes. Firstly, during the summer months, our team of artists delivered outdoor creative sessions at our partner care homes. The sessions were delivered safely and offered the residents and staff an opportunity to hear live music and experience a new moment of collective joy.

In addition to adapting our creative delivery we have also been writing and recording a podcast series, Yorkshire Dance Presents. The series, curated and hosted by two Dementia Care Mappers, myself and Lauren Clarke, focuses on disseminating the research from the mapping process. We wanted to explore a new and innovative way in which to share this learning and open up a discussion about the work. We decided on building a podcast series, a popular medium to deliver information right to the pockets of interested parties.

The creation of the podcast enabled us to have in-depth, open and thought-provoking conversations with a range of contributors.

  • In episode 1 we speak to Older People’s Project Manager (Adie Nivison) & Yorkshire Dance Programmes Manager (Hannah Robertshaw) about the origins of the project and their favourite moments.
  • In episode 2 you hear us dissecting the artistic approach with our artists. This enabled us to articulate the artistry and participatory practice in a nuanced but informative way.
  • In episode 3 we speak to Lisa Heller, our Dementia Care Mapping mentor and advocate. Lisa provides context to the Dementia Care Mapping approach, its birth and how our work has impacted the current thinking about this research tool.
  • And in episode 4 we speak to the Wellbeing and Engagement Manager (Iria Cunha) and family member (Andrew) at one of our partner care homes. This episode dips in and out of what it means to work at a care home during a creative project and the personal experience of how a creative project can impact the wellbeing of an individual.

Curating, hosting and sharing this podcast has been an honour and we’ve been humbled by the response we’ve had so far. We hope this podcast reaches those who need to hear it and provides an insight in how important this work is. We want to thank our funders –Time to Shine – for their support. Without their advocacy for this work, the podcast would not be possible.

Yorkshire Dance Presents is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify now!

Lily Craig
Project Assistant & Dementia Care Mapper, In Mature Company