Beat Bazaar’s Timeless project was one of the top 10 projects chosen to receive funding from the Advancing Equality Grant Fund 2014 launched earlier this year by Trafford Council, offering grants of up to £5,000 to fund innovative ideas to ‘Reduce Social Isolation’ in Trafford communities.
The aim of the project was to make singing and live music accessible to the older generation and combat loneliness and social isolation through music making, melodies, singing and listening. Participants who have limited opportunities to hear live music had the opportunity to share songs and stories and feel uplifted.
Live performances and cultural experiences can be quite expensive for many people and the elderly find it difficult to get to cultural venues in the city centre. By bringing live music and culture into the sheltered homes, this project aimed to advance equality, giving older people a chance to experience live music regardless of the financial circumstances.
The project delivered 8 hours of singing and music making to 6 groups in Old Trafford and Stretford. These included Bath Crescent, Lowry Lodge, Victoria Court, Vine Court, St John’s Community Centre Over 50s Caribbean Group as well as Lostock Partnership’s church group. The project also contributed to several events such as the Health and Wellbeing event at St John Community Centre in Old Trafford, which was televised on Channel 4 News, and the VE event in Lostock Park which hosted a live performance from Tommy The Veteran.
The workshops were delivered by professional musicians including Nicki Dupuy, Ellis Davies, Sylvia Tella, Calypso George, John Ellis & Dave Taylor.
The project has been a huge success and all participants have truly enjoyed themselves. Sheltered scheme managers have all requested further music making sessions and live music in their venues. ‘Timeless’ has really highlighted the powerful effects of music in wellbeing, health, reducing isolation, connecting people and more.
Project coordinator Ottilia Ördög expressed the need for further musical and creative activities for the elderly in sheltered schemes: “The saddest thing was leaving these lovely community spaces, knowing that there is more work to be done, more live music & more cultural activities are needed. We could have delivered 6 months worth of workshops in each place, 4 weeks just wasn’t enough. The feedback from the participants has been amazing. We hope to do this project again”