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Funding of £250k secured for Cornish collaboration bringing art to the elderly

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

James Green outside Newlyn Art Gallery.

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FUNDING of £250,000 has been granted for an arts collaboration involving Newlyn Art Gallery and Exchange that will see a three-year programme bringing creativity to the elderly.

Arts for Health Cornwall (AHC) has, together with a number of arts organisations and care providers across Cornwall, secured the cash to establish The Home Service, which will see "great art" brought to care homes.

The money has been given by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation, with Newlyn and Penzance's galleries playing a leading role in the process and the likes of The University of Falmouth and Hall for Cornwall also involved.

Director Jeremy Green said it is an exciting time and hopes it is the start of an initiative that will ensure the older members of society also benefit from the best of the art world.

"We've taken a lead and we're really excited about the project, as it's an opportunity to present work in a situation that is often forgotten about," he said.

"It's important to us that people in care homes access high-quality work. We want to use this as a chance to try out different things."

Mr Green explained initial plans will see pilot projects put in place, with a view to continue long into the future.

He said the group is now looking to raise another £200,000, and is hoping local businesses and individuals donate.

"We've got funding for three years and we'll be trialling in the first to see what is best.

"We want to put artist residencies in care homes – we want to explore what issues they [older people] face and where their interests lie."

He added a home in Penzance could be a beneficiary.

Phil Gibby, director of Arts Council England in the South West, said it was a positive step.

Mr Gibby added: "Arts for Health Cornwall has put together a very exciting new partnership of leading arts organisations and practitioners.

"This project has the potential to have a significant long-term impact by establishing best practice for arts and older people and we are delighted to be supporting it."

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