The need for our work

Independent Arts is committed to enhancing the health, wellbeing and quality of life for our participants, through a wide range of arts-based activities.

We believe that through participation in creative activities, older people are supported to address the challenges they may face. The need for our work is demonstrated through the statistical data relating to an increasing ageing population in our local community.

"The total Isle of Wight population is approximately 140,000, of whom 32,000 people are aged 65+, including 5,000 people aged 85+. By 2031, it is estimated that the Island's 65+ population will grow to over 54,000, an increase of 59%."

                                   (Isle of Wight Public Health Annual Report 2010)


In addition to this, UK statistics show the prevalence of dementia is increasing and the Isle of Wight, in particular, is feeling the impact of this. According to NEPHO (North East Public Health Observatory), the Isle of Wight is the Local Authority area in England with the highest percentage of adults with dementia*.

A number of our creative activities are devised specifically to engage with those with dementia, and we offer training and support to our Creative Practitioners and volunteers in working creatively with this client group.

Other challenges facing our older population include:

  • Increase in depression and associated mental health difficulties
  • Financial difficulties
  • Physical health implications
  • Bereavement
  • Decrease in community involvement
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feelings of failure and despair
  • Lack of public services
  • Rural isolation

We use the arts as a tool to confront these issues, leading to more positive life experiences for our older residents.

* Community Mental Health Profiles 2013: Isle of Wight NEPHO (North East Public Health Observatory)


New guidance issued on importance of activities for people in residential care

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued new guidance on the mental wellbeing of older people in residential care, focusing on quality standards which stress the importance of providing meaningful activities. This is at the heart of what Independent Arts does.

You can read NICE's news release about the guidance here. And the guidance itself is here.

Independent Arts brightens the lives of hundreds of care home residents every month through our arts activities sessions, as well as running sessions in the community.

Independent Arts' Chief Executive Kate Ball says, "We welcome this report from NICE, which demonstrates that providing meaningful activities for residents of care homes should not be seen as an optional extra but an integral component of the care plan."



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