Older people in Newry share in £207,000 for arts projects | Newry Times

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Friday, October 8th, 2021

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has announced £207,000 to enable 27 arts organisations across Northern Ireland to deliver a series of community-based arts projects benefitting older people. 


Older people in Newry share in £207,000 for arts projects - Newry Times - newry news online


The funding is part of the Arts and Older People Programme, a pioneering initiative supported by the National Lottery, Public Health Agency and Baring Foundation, which aims to tackle loneliness as well as promote positive mental health and well-being among older people through engagement with the arts. 

Two organisations will now deliver arts projects benefitting older people in the Newry area including, Stickyfingers and Streetwise Community Circus.



The Arts and Older People Programme was established by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2010 and are now a cross-governmental partnership with funding from the Public Health Agency and The Baring Foundation.

The programme has been designed to challenge perceptions of what it means to be an older person.

To date, the programme has provided just under £2m funding to community organisations and voluntary groups across Northern Ireland in the delivery of 223 arts projects to older people.  

Lorraine Calderwood, Community Development Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, explains how the Arts and Older People’s Programme is making a difference to the lives of older people across the region.

“Research has proven that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, confidence and motivation, as well as aid in relieving stress. 


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“The Arts and Older People Programme are committed to providing meaningful opportunities for our older people to take part in arts activities, enriching their lives for the better. 

“As we emerge from the extra challenges faced by older people as a result of the pandemic, participating in the arts is now more important than ever.

“The arts have a vital role to play in helping older people find their voice thus promoting positive physical and mental health. 

“Thanks to The National Lottery, the Arts Council is hugely proud to have supported 223 projects since the programme began.

“We’re delighted today to announce that a further 27 arts organisations will be supported to deliver projects with funding of £207,000,” she adds.



In this exceptional time of the pandemic, the Art and Older People Programme particularly focused on supporting projects that will be delivered to older vulnerable people living with dementia and their carers. 

Among the successful applicants offered Arts and Older People Programme funding benefitting older people in the Newry area are:

Sticky Fingers Arts (Newry) – amount awarded: £6,174

Sticky Fingers will deliver their intergenerational project entitled, Blossoming, with the aim of educating children about dementia. 

This project will create tall standing flowers and creatures made out of natural materials. 

These will be placed outside care homes in the Newry area. 

Workshops will be delivered in care homes with school children and older residents. 

There will be two and a half hour workshops delivered over 36 sessions in the care homes and dementia training provided to the young people at the beginning of the project.

Streetwise Community Circus (Belfast, Bessbrook, Newry and Warrenpoint) – amount awarded: £9,000

Streetwise Community Circus will deliver its project entitled Age-ility Circus. 



This project will deliver circus workshops to older people through a mix of Zoom online workshops and workshops taking place at care homes.

To view a full list of organisations offered Arts and Older People Programme funding click here.

Visit www.artscouncil-ni.org for details on all funding opportunities.


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