Pioneering care village operator, Belong, has partnered with Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat, in a unique three-year research project to explore how the arts can improve the lives of those with dementia.
The collaboration, called ‘Where the Arts Belong’, will see Belong Birkdale, currently under construction on Oxford Road in Southport, become the first Belong village to benefit from permanent staff trained in specialist arts provision, when it opens later this year.
Six critically acclaimed artists are involved in the project, which launched at Belong Crewe earlier this month. They will be taking up pilot residencies in the village to explore how the arts can be effectively embedded into new care environments ahead of moving to Birkdale in the autumn.
Over the next four months, Belong customers and staff will take part in an array of creative workshops, ranging from storytelling and sculpture to song and dance. The work produced across the project will feature at the Atkinson in Southport and the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, running for six to eight weeks at each venue.
Belong Deputy Chief Executive, Tracy Paine, said: “Bluecoat is a highly respected organisation and we are thrilled to be working with them to bring the arts to Belong Birkdale. It is a great opportunity to explore how the arts can improve the lives of our customers living with dementia, and we hope to make a real contribution to best practice in this area.”
Tabitha Moses, the Project Facilitator for ‘Where the Arts Belong’, added: “This is an exciting and ground-breaking partnership between two inspiring organisations. We have got six fantastic artists on board and the initial creative experiences they have had with Belong customers have been really positive.
“We look forward to seeing the impact that the arts and artists can have on the lives of people living with dementia.”