Praxis Care Older People’s Art Programme

ST Paul’s Court, Lisburn held a dance performance event recently to celebrate the dance classes which the participants from St Paul’s Court have completed. The dance classes were part of an overview Arts Council’s Arts and Older People’s Programme which has been kindly funded by the Arts Council and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Praxis Care secured funding from the Arts Council to run an older people’s programme within two of the Praxis Care’s older people schemes in Lisburn and Derry.

St Paul’s Court, Lisburn provides care and support services to older people. The programme gave St Paul’s Court the opportunity to undertake a 12 week dance programme which focused on movement, co-ordination, balance and simple dance movements, an 8 week creative craft programme which saw the group developing individual collages based on the work of Henri Matisse and a 14 week further dance development programme which focused on co-ordination, balance and creative interaction.

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Further work was carried out on relaxation, stretching and breathing. The group built a repertoire of movement/action songs for ‘recording’ and worked towards producing a simple performance show.

Emma Dargan, Community Development Officer at the Arts Council said: “We know that the arts can raise self- esteem, confidence and motivation as well as helping to relieve stress, worries and pain. Whether it’s through a painting workshop, a music session or dance class, the arts have an important role to play in helping older people to find a voice and express the issues which affect them on a day-to-day basis such as poverty, isolation, loneliness and positive mental health.”

Geraldine Andrews, Fundraising Officer for Praxis Care commented: “The Arts Council Arts and Older People’s Programme has given two of the Praxis Care’s older people schemes the opportunity to undertake different art programmes which has had direct benefits such as increasing self esteem, confidence and social interaction for each of the participants.”