Since 2007, the Arts and Health Award has celebrated achievements in health promotion and community wellbeing initiatives.

Ruth Hollis, Chief Executive, Spirit of 2012 said

“I’m thrilled that Creative Arts East has won the prestigious Royal Society for Public Heath award for Arts and Heath. Our Day Out allows people living with dementias and their friends and families the space and the inspiration to respond creatively to music and dance and is centred on providing a high-quality, fun creative outlet for people who are living with a challenging diagnosis and progressive impairment. As a funder, Spirit has worked with them to put evaluation and learning at the heart of their delivery and really explore what it means for the quality of people’s lives to take part in Our Day Out – both the people living with dementia and their carers.”

Our Day Out is a fortnightly programme of dementia-friendly, inclusive and interactive music and movement workshops. It gives older people living with dementias and their family, friends and carers a welcoming and warm environment in which to participate in a wide range of music and dance activities, showcase their creativity and make new friends. The programme operates across rural areas of Norfolk.

In their assessment of Our Day Out, the RSPH judging panel described it as ‘a solid all-round programme with well balanced, evidenced elements and with users at its heart. This project also went a long way to reach a vulnerable, rural community and clearly showed how co-production made it stand out as different from other dementia services.’

The panel also recognised that the programme’s focus on evaluation is at the heart of its success. Our Day Out has adopted the Canterbury Wellbeing Scale, developed by Professor Camic of Canterbury Christchurch University, in its evaluation processes. This scale is specifically suitable for those living with a dementia, and participants are supported to complete ‘Personal Journey’ booklets with questionnaires that use the scale. The results of these are sent to Professor Camic and his team for statistical analysis and inclusion in his research dataset.

Early evaluation results show that participants’ wellbeing is consistently improved over multiple session interactions; 101 out of 123 first responders showed an increase in wellbeing as a result of their participation (82%), 61 out of 82 second responders (74%), and 38 out of 49 who, to date, have responded a third time (78%). Furthermore, 81% of participants have reported that activities have helped them feel better about themselves and 88% feel their involvement has helped them to have a shared positive experience. 97% of participants told us that they feel their involvement in the programme has helped them to make better social connections.

The Creative Arts East team are absolutely delighted that the programme has won such a prestigious award, and were pleased to be recognised for their work with older people, including those with dementia.

“It was a privilege to be shortlisted alongside other fantastic programmes and organisations, so ours is a shared win for the role of the arts in health overall,” said Zoe Fletcher, Creative Arts East, “We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the participants, funders, artists, volunteers and other partners involved in the project – this is a cumulative effort and testament to everybody’s innovation, hard work and dedication to Our Day Out.”

Spirit of 2012 recently announced extended funding for ‘Our Day Out’, with an additional grant of £199, 904. The new Spirit funding will be used by Creative Arts East to continue the Our Day Out programme in all six of the current locations and, alongside investment by the National Lottery Community Fund, will set up two new West Norfolk groups in Downham Market and Hunstanton from September 2019. The Earl of Northampton’s Charity, Norfolk County Council and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk are also making their own awards towards continuing the ground-breaking programme.

Further Information

For more information on ‘Our Day Out’, click here

For news on additional funding, click here