Meet our finalists – Collaboration (Integration) Award

February 3, 2021

It’s always important to work together, share knowledge and learn from others. This category celebrates the best of that. Meet our three finalists who have excelled in this arena.

The Independent Living Roadshow

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Rescue, Harrogate County Council, Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Forward, Home Instead, Rise Furniture and Mobility, Parkinson’s Harrogate Branch, Society of Later Life Advisors, Cardale Asset Management and Berwins Solicitors have collaborated to pool their marketing collateral and information in an Independent Living Roadshow folder. This folder is distributed free to members of the community at local roadshows.

What made you want to enter the awards?

As a new initiative (previously unknown within our community), we are constantly looking for new opportunities and innovative ways to reach our target audience, local like-minded organisations and charities to whom we can promote what the Independent Living Roadshow does. We felt that by entering the awards we would be able to reach out beyond our local contacts, providing us with another platform to launch our roadshow.

Being associated with the awards, we hoped this might boost our credibility to anyone who may not have heard of the roadshow before but who has a need for the information and advice. As a finalist, not only can we gain valuable exposure through the awards selection process itself but also benefit from the publicity it might attract.

Being recognised by a national organisation, well respected within the not-for-profit and care sectors, demonstrates that our idea and implementation of the Independent Living Roadshow is tangible. We hope this will attract similar service providers and council agencies that might wish to be included as part of the Independent Living Roadshow.

How did you react when you found out you were a finalist?

We are very proud and super excited to have been named finalists. From a new initiative to being named finalists is beyond our wildest expectations.

It’s encouraging to discover that an esteemed judging panel saw the benefits the Independent Living Roadshow has to offer. As soon as I heard, I rang a colleague who couldn’t believe it!  

What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards?

What started out as a good idea, shared among a few like-minded individuals sat around a table, brainstorming how we might collaborate all our individual efforts for the same target audience,

to be named finalists in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards is recognition that our idea is not only a good one, but commendation that all our hard work is worthwhile.

Each and every person involved in the Independent Living Roadshow is extremely proud of what we have achieved thus far. Being finalists makes it very special and drives each of us on further, giving us confidence that we are part of something worthwhile.

How have you had to adapt your services for COVID-19?

The Independent Living Roadshow is so customer centric (standing in hospital and supermarket entrances or local libraries, interacting with the elderly and vulnerable). Sadly, the pandemic has made face-to-face conversations impossible.

Whilst the website is still under development, we are active on social media and have produced printed material for each of the members of the Independent Living Roadshow to distribute within their own marketing efforts.

What’s been your greatest challenge in the last year?

Not as much a challenge – more of a frustration. So many of the elderly and vulnerable in rural areas are not internet savvy. We know they have been afraid to, or advised not to, venture out. The feeling of isolation for them is exacerbated by lockdown.

Not being able to meet and interact with the very people the Independent Living Roadshow seeks to help has been very difficult. We look forward to being able to build momentum once again in the future when Government guidelines allow.

Project Collective

Options for Supported Living, a charity providing support to people with learning disabilities, collaborates with five organisations to form Project Collective. Project Collective aims to improve access and inclusion for artists with learning disabilities, while raising awareness around the health inequalities they face.

The team works with Blue Rooms, which provides art sessions and spaces for artists with a learning disability; Tate Liverpool; Mencap Liverpool and Sefton, which focuses on people with low support packages; Acorn Farm, a day service specialising in wellbeing and horticulture; and Natural Breaks, a support provider to people with learning disabilities.

What made you want to enter the awards?

Amy, our Communication and Culture Lead, wanted to nominate Project Collective for the award. She felt we were an excellent example of different groups working together towards a better world.

How did you react when you found out you were a finalist?

I was delighted, as was the rest of Project Collective, to whom I had not mentioned it before.

We had been working so hard and moving forward so quickly before lockdown that it was nice to have some recognition for what we had been doing. 

What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards?

It means a lot; it shows us the power of working together. We love what we are doing but it had felt very isolating this last year. Having Project Collective kept us talking, sharing and working together with different sectors across Merseyside.

How have you had to adapt your services for COVID-19?

We have adapted what we had planned for this year into a booklet and art pack giveaway. People can still share their ideas online or by sending things over social media. However, for people who don’t use digital technology, we have a printed booklet with step-by-step instructions.

Our greatest challenge has been keeping in contact with the broader group, not all of whom use technology. We are very much looking forward to having groups meeting again, even if they are smaller than previously.

Intergenerational Music Making – #musicalconversations

Chineke! Junior Orchestra, MHA, Avery and Anchor have come together with Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) to deliver the #musicalconversations movement, which aims to engage and connect generations through the sharing of cultural heritage, musical stories and creativity. The collaboration uses #musicalconversations to provide a physical and emotional bond and enhance individual identity.

What made you want to enter the awards?

At Intergenerational Music Making, we are interested in projects that challenge hierarchy and convention, shed light on the overlooked, and create spaces for new conversations and otherwise marginalised voices. We strive to adopt the highest holistic approaches, nurturing the individual, the wonderful intergenerational relationships, the carer, family and community through the power of music.

The world turned upside down in March 2020 and, since then, our incredible team of music therapists, community musicians, artists, researchers, performers, volunteers and students have been working tirelessly, determined to support our clients, our existing intergenerational communities and those new ones that have emerged out of the pandemic.

We believe everyone should have the chance to live life to the full. Everyone has the ability to respond to music, to explore and develop in the music. Our work aims to bridge the gap between generations, creating stronger, more resilient communities whilst improving the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of both the young and the old.

How did you react when you found out you were a finalist?

The news of us being a finalist provided the team with some much-needed light and joy! We are all so incredibly passionate about Intergenerational Music Making, so to receive the acknowledgement from the panel that our work is important is truly special!

The past nine months have been extremely challenging for everyone. With so much loss, separation, isolation and uncertainty, it can be hard to stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Music has acted as a crutch for so many of us – used to invite and empower new voices, to understand personal feelings and emotions and to remind us of positive moments with the people we love the most.

We believe that music will be the essential ingredient in how we heal and rehabilitate, both individually and as a community. We are determined to help mitigate the impacts on the nation’s wellbeing, improve the lives for those living with dementia and mental health concerns, but also to harness the power of strong creative connections for the future.

What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards?

We are honoured to be a finalist in the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards. To be acknowledged and recognised for the innovative and vital work we deliver is incredible.

For many years we have been working across the health, care, education and community sector delivering unique music projects, events and workshops, bespoke training, consultancy and research. At the heart of IMM is music, paired with incredible partnerships, fuelled by passionate people and their remarkable stories. Music is the vessel in which culture and heritage can be shared, understood and respected – whether you are five years old or 100 years old!

More and more people now appreciate that arts and culture can play a valuable part in helping tackle some of the most challenging social and health conditions. Our work addresses the ageing population, which brings with it a growing population and evolving healthcare needs, specifically looking at the increase in dementia, loneliness and mental health difficulties amongst all generations. We use music as the vehicle to support individual memory and identification, whilst encouraging leadership, self-confidence and community. At IMM we are passionate about providing ways for generations to engage with one another – to communicate, be creative, share insights and test out new ideas.

We want to encourage creative intergenerational communities, support and nurture intergenerational relationships, and provide quality artistic access for those with dementia, families and carers.

We will only achieve this through an interdisciplinary team approach, one that gives people more say about the care and the support they receive. We want to pioneer an improved and new collaborative community where people, families, health care professionals and researchers are working together to improve an ageing population and the demand this brings with it through music!

What’s been your greatest challenge in the last year?

Due to COVID-19 we were unable to continue our intergenerational projects and feared that this time away from our clients could have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing. We were determined to adapt and to find new ways to support and nurture those wonderful intergenerational relationships and introduce exciting and creative ways to stay connected and creative.

Our response to the pandemic drew on the digital and non-digital, virtual and tangible. We used home-based, creative ways to support health and tackle isolation, loneliness, mental health and wellbeing for all generations, whilst creating cohesive, artistic communities.

This time of distance and separation has made our work even more vital. Over the course of the pandemic, it has been extremely distressing to have witnessed a dramatic deterioration in the dementia symptoms and mental health of some of our clients, both young and old. We have also seen trends in increased mental health concerns and feelings of loneliness from those over 70 living in care homes, those shielding or isolated without family, and in young people between the ages of ten and 18, the number of referrals has doubled.

We seized this time of interruption to rebuild and tell a different story. Early on, we realised it was vital to engage and empower communities as equal partners in creating and maintaining their health and wellbeing.

Social isolation and loneliness are nothing new to our organisation but, now more than ever, we believe the arts possess transformative power, bringing people together in ways we could not have foreseen.

In December, we launched a campaign, Together with Music, in partnership with Care England to embed and sustain intergenerational connections across the UK.

Together with Music aims to connect every care home, sheltered accommodation and hospital with their local school or youth group through music. We see vast opportunity to embed cross-sectorial relationships, as well as creating job, training and volunteer opportunities for young people. This programme will empower and amplify voices of community members, giving them the skills and tools to be self-sufficient and integrated in their community.

This year we will be revealing our winners at a Virtual Ceremony on Friday 12th February. We’d love for you to join us. Sign up to attend the event here.

 You can also keep up to date with all the latest on this year’s finalists on social media #3rdSectorCareAwards @3rdSectorCare