Our current project is a social intervention aimed at improving the emotional well-being of older people living in Derwen Housing, exploring how the provision of cultural activities may help alleviate social issues such as loneliness and isolation. This is a pilot project, enabled by seed-corn funding by Cardiff University.
We began the project by using music from across the decades to generate memories which are now being adapted into a play to be performed at the Riverfront, Newport, on April 16th. Some truly amazing stories have been told: war-time tales of family life, loss and bombings; freedom and childhood innocence; town hall dances and the first kiss; emigration and travels; army life; marriage, divorce and children…making the adaptation into a play very difficult! Some fascinating photographs have been collated too, showing a snapshot of life from 1930s until today;
A story ranging over several continents and 90 years, incorporating memories of so many wonderful residents, means that a great deal of the content, unfortunately, has had to be cut, but we have endeavoured to include something from everyone. Rehearsals are now underway, and the exciting phase of sourcing props and costumes has begun.
It is hoped that this pilot project can lead to the development of a long-standing commitment to arts-based projects for use within social housing organisations in Newport.