Susan Langford, Director of Magic Me mentored two artists, Emma Curtis and Jane Gull on an intergenerational project in Rochford Essex. Susan was able to share with them Magic Me’s three decades of experience and practice in the field of intergenerational arts.

The project brought together school children from Waterman Primary School with older people resident in Broomhills Care Home. The artists, award-winning animation and installation artist Emma Curtis and film maker, Jane Gull worked with the children and residents at the care home each week, sharing stories and thoughts on the theme of ‘party time’. The inter-generational group created an animated film about their experiences which can be seen here

The project, run by Essex County Council with Anglia Ruskin University was funded through Arts Council England.

Eileen Thorn, Head Teacher at Waterman Primary School said, “Through learning to communicate with older people, our pupils are developing their own self esteem; developing respect across the generations and showing consideration of the needs of the elderly residents. This absolutely supports the fundamental values of our school. It has been documented that for elderly residents, working with children, has health benefits, including decrease in symptoms of depression, improved mobility and cognitive skills.”

Cllr Susan Barker, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Community and Customer said, “Introducing arts and culture in care homes provides a wealth of benefits to residents and carers, I am delighted that we are able to facilitate cultural organisations in Essex through funding from the Arts Council.

“We are proud to work closely with cultural organisations in Essex who deliver valuable work to bring our communities closer together, and I look forward to seeing the film of everyone’s experiences.”

In addition to her mentoring role, Essex County Council also commissioned Susan Langford to run a one day workshop, introducing artists from across Essex to the dynamics and practicalities of intergenerational arts projects.

Magic Me has a track record of providing training and consultancy support for clients large and small across the arts, community, care and housing sectors. To find out how we might help you contact info@magicme.co.uk