Well, that's one New Year Resolution I've managed to keep...For some time now, the idea of trying to set up a small charity has been lurking at the back of my mind. Volunteering for a dementia charity in particular spurred me to act. This year has flown by, and who could have predicted the year it has been? Now autumn is here and Medley has taken its first steps.
Medley is a new initiative exploring music, art and nature's many impacts on health and wellbeing. Initially the focus is the website and blog https://medley.live, aiming to build awareness and to highlight different issues. So far blogposts have covered arts under lockdown rekindling memory in people with dementia barriers to communal music-making and the National Day of Arts in Care Homes.
Medley also has a new forum, https://medley.forumotion.com, which could help create virtual support if people would like to share ideas or experiences.
The hope is that in a few months' time, Medley will grow to start some community work of its own, either online or face-to-face. Medley aims to inspire and support community music, art or nature groups to share creativity or nature with local support groups, such as a group for stroke survivors or people living with sight loss.
Medley shares much of The Age of Creativity's focus. So many of the issues or conditions Medley is exploring impact on older people in particular. Dementia, sight loss, hearing loss, stroke and neurological illnesses like Parkinson's disease are all far more common in older people. I hope that Medley will reach practitioners and participants alike, professionals and patients, someone with long experience of working in the creative arts but also someone newly diagnosed with dementia who is wondering how music might help.
While I'm new to The Age of Creativity, this is such an inspiring space, an opportunity to interact with others who have diverse yet common goals. And to see in action the myriad imaginative, thoughtful ways in which people are connecting with older people through creativity.
I see Medley as all about community: sharing ideas and thoughts online through the blog and forum, and then sharing art, music and nature as local groups come together on a specific project. It would be wonderful if you would like to get involved, read the blog and contribute to the forum. At the end of the day, this is obviously not about seeing through my New Year Resolution. Medley exists to draw on creativity and nature to improve lives and to reach more people, and older people are integral to this hope. Could you catch the vision and help build the Medley community? Thank you so much.