Isolation Call Out

Residence at rural care homes who suffer from dementia have been introduced to dance and put on their dance shoes in a pioneering dance scheme called “Dawns i Bawb”.

The scheme came about when rural Heritage and Culture project office Ela Fon Williams called out for projects to tackle isolation in the rural area.

Ela Fon Williams said, “We were looking for something different and innovative that would make a real difference in rural Conwy to reduce isolation and deprivation within communities”.

“When I first revieced their application i thought the project was a great way of engaging older people who are socially isolated”.

The project aimed to demonstrate that dance can act as a powerful tool in tackling social issues that occur within communities including social isolation, loneliness, developing social relationships, maintaining positive attitudes to language and culture, and strengthening self-identity and equality.

Dawns i Bawb submitted an application to use an interactive performance called “Dyddiau Braf / Golden Days”, based on the theme of summer using various elements within the performance that play on the senses of sight, touch, sound and smell.

The performances were offered to five residential homes throughout rural Conwy where social isolation and loneliness was thought to be a particular issue.

The five homes which took part in the scheme were; Hafan Gwydir Llanrwst, The Old Vicarage Pandy Tudur, Dol Awel Abergele, Llys y Coed Llanfairfechan and Bryn yr Eglwys Betws-y-Coed.

Catherine Young (Dawns I Bawb coordinator) said, “All in all, the project was very well received. We witnessed people moving and creating together and interacting with one another in a way that they might not otherwise usually do.”

“The whole experience was unexpected to many but we feel that everyone got something out of participating in the experience. Through dance, we can offer the opportunity to explore and address issues through bringing people together in a positive, creative, empowering and non-judgmental environment”.

A total of 106 people participated in the project across rural Conwy, including residents and invited guests. Of those, 3 of the 5 homes have continued their relationship with “Dawns I Bawb” and have received a series a regular dance and movement sessions.

The trial received great feedback from residents at the care homes, with several commenting on the range of individuals taking part, demonstrating the success of bringing people together.

This project is funded through the Rural Development LEADER programme for Conwy, Conwy Cynhaliol.

For more information on the Conwy Cynhaliol, and the Rural Development Programme – visit www.ruralconwy.org.uk or contact us on 01492 576673 or conwylocalactiongroup@conwy.gov.uk.