About Us - Sessions
Our live, interactive and creative sessions have been specially tailored to help you to discover a love of the arts, inspire creativity and develop new skills whilst building connections with like-minded people who share similar interests. Sessions include arts and crafts, creative writing, history, music, photography and dance. Each session is undertaken with a small group and accessed online in real time. Each of our sessions have been clinically proven to help you to improve your wellbeing, memory and enhance your quality of life.
Photography and digital media can provide highly personalized experiences and are particularly good for further building digital and technical confidence and skills that can improve and increase social connectedness.
In our photography sessions, groups learn how to take photographs through a focus on people and objects, the associations and relationships between them, and the significances that are personal to everyone as individuals. Simple or commonplace objects can spark all sorts of different thoughts and connections. Which little things or big views matter to you? What makes something important to you in a way that makes you want to capture it in a photograph? From simple shapes and colours to portraits of people and views of objects, these sessions give participants a chance to explore what is important to them and learn how to frame it in a photograph, taking into consideration angles, points of view, shadow and lighting, form and pattern, drawing on the principles of art and design.
Creative writing, poetry, and storytelling can give people ways to express their experiences while the prompts and structures used encourage and enhance interactions between participants in a group. These activities can have a positive impact on concentration and attention, the stimulation of memories, on mood and confidence, giving a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
Sessions start with a prompt – songs, poems, lines from films, music, images, words from graffiti or advertising, things people have said to them – as the beginning of stories and writing.
In our creative writing sessions, the group look at and talk about the prompt together before everyone spends a few minutes writing, seeing what words and ideas emerge. Participants are encouraged not to try too hard or to worry about finding the ‘right’ words but, instead, to enjoy the process in the moment and the shared exploration of words, ideas, and experiences.
In our storytelling sessions, prompts and storytelling games are the starting point for the group working together to build stories – a narrative starting to emerge from the conversations, experiments, and exploration of your different senses.
History learning can help to stimulate memories and support a sense of selfhood - as the historian E. H. Carr wrote, “To enable man to understand the society of the past and to increase his mastery of the society of the present is the dual function of history.” Learning something new, through group discussion and active discovery, provides the opportunity for positive and enjoyable experiences that build confidence and increase skills.
History isn’t just about dates…it’s about people! These sessions give participants the opportunity to learn about how people lived at different times in the past and discuss whether they really lived that differently from us.
In our sessions on the Middle Ages, the group is introduced to life in the medieval world, covering topics such as food, drink, music, theatre, books, poems and popular songs, houses and castles, graffiti and travel. Each session will involve a new activity such as examining items such as coins, graffiti and other objects, listening to medieval music, even going on a virtual tour of a medieval building, followed by a discussion about our own modern-day experiences, how the way we live has changed, and which things stay the same.
Art and Crafts
Art can take us to places unimaginable and can help communication, connection, and empowerment. Taking part in these activities can enhance episodic memory, improve cognitive capacities, raise mood, give a greater sense of inclusion, and increase subjective wellbeing. The forms and prompts used can support people in telling their own stories using visual, rather than verbal, language.
In our mixed media sessions, a variety of forms and media from fine art to textiles, poetry, and music, are used to deliver an exciting and dynamic creative experience for all. The sessions are multi-sensory and use individual experience and imagination in the safe space of a supportive group. While there are always opportunities to get hands-on and make, there is no pressure to create a final outcome. Instead, sessions are about the enjoyment of being in the moment and the process of creativity.
In our visual arts sessions, the group explores a range of visual arts techniques and processes, and work towards creating a unique mandala-inspired artwork. Participants will learn about art and practice with some of the formal elements that make up a piece of artwork, such as line, colour and composition, and explore incorporating these, in their own way, into what they make. Sessions are structured to include group activity and time to talk along the way, giving opportunity for interaction and fun within the making and doing.
Music has been shown to have a positive effect on communication, increasing interaction and involvement with others, and improving mood. Singing, as well as being a wonderful thing to do together, activates the parts of the brain associated with working memory. The sessions highlight the power of music for self-expression, boosting confidence and self-esteem, whilst meeting others in a nurturing and safe, online space.
In our songwriting sessions, groups explore the art of writing songs inspired by their very own ‘Desert Island’ tunes. Looking at the different aspects of songwriting – the art of listening, writing lyrics, using chords, creating melodies – groups will unpack their favourite songs and learn how to take elements from them to compose their own.
In our music and mindfulness sessions, groups run through a whole range of music to learn how to sing for different styles, from pop to rock, and folk to classical. Each session starts with gentle physical and vocal warm-ups to prepare not only your voice and body but also your mind for the many practices involved in singing.