Welcome to the editorials section. All content has been written specifically for the Age of Creativity Network by those working in the field, reflecting on their practice and the wider sector. If you would like to share your thoughts with peers across the country (and further afield), then please get in touch.

For best results, use our search function to search by key word, date, author etc. To make the listings more accessible, we have colour coded those editorials that are more than 3 years old in red.


Creativity takes us to other worlds (Sharon Lewis, Jules Walker and Sam Schofield) November 2023

When I paint it transports me into another world and takes away all of my worries. It was really magical seeing my paintings up in the gallery.

Creativity: Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons (Farrell Renowden) October 2023

Human Rights are a topic featuring heavily in UK politics right now, but whatever your position, I imagine “culture” and “the arts” aren’t the first Human Rights you think of when discussing issues that impact older people.

Creative Carers: cultivating connections and confronting challenges (Helen Fountain) October 2023

Carers shared deeply personal insights including: “in a creative writing class it reminds you that you have your own life” and “it’s helped me give myself permission to be someone important in my life again”.

Local author enriches TeaBooks meeting (Kate Castleden) September 2023

I consider myself to be an uncreative person, I’m not musical and I’m terrible at art and craft. I surprised myself when I started writing and realised it was something I could do.

Unleashing Our Inner Banksy: why Graffiti Art Workshops are a colourful path to improving wellbeing for older people (Tom Glynn) September 2023

As our workshops attendees pick up spray cans and unleash their inner Banksy on the urban landscape, they're not just creating art; they're nurturing their wellbeing and celebrating the golden years in a kaleidoscope of colours.

575 Ways to Create and Connect: How a small, terraced house is inspiring creativity at every age (Laura Hussey) September 2023

Each week, we captured participants’ feedback, asking for three words to describe how they felt after the session, which included: warm, creative, fizzy, energised, accepted and inspired.

Inspiring Older Women’s Creativity (Sharmilla Beezmohun) August 2023

...practically every older woman had a story to tell about feeling invisible in some way. And so Speaking Volumes started Women Speak Volumes, our ongoing Arts Council England project to spark older women’s creativity.

Why I work in the Creative Ageing sector (Farrell Renowden) August 2023

...but when I spoke to the Commissioner for Older People he rebuffed, “Older people don’t like scriptwriting.” But how did he know...where was the evidence?

How older people inspire our work (Kate Castleden) August 2023

We know that listening to older people is the first step to making a real difference. When we heard the story of a local resident, let’s call him John, we realised that we needed to take action...

How the Platinum Jubilee reminded us of the importance of collective memories (Helen Fountain) August 2023

It still never fails to surprise me how many people have extraordinary stories to share, stories which are often viewed as perfectly ordinary by the storyteller but leave the listener in awe!

Why am I still making the case to the age sector about the value of creativity? (Farrell Renowden) July 2023

Still, after all these years, the voices of older people are not being heard and we need to keep advocating and amplifying what they say they value and what they need…

Exploring CS Lewis' Oxford (Kate Castleden) July 2023

This month we decided to offer our amazing TeaBooks Volunteers the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the places which inspired one of the intellectual giants of the 20th Century, Clive Staples Lewis.

Age of Creativity Festival 2023 Round-Up (Kate Castleden) June 2023

What another great year to be involved, with events taking place across the country as well as online. With new resources and opportunities to share your stories, there really was something for everyone!

Joining the Fight Against Ageism (Kayleigh Burr) June 2023

I would love to live in a world where everyone is celebrated, where Ageing is celebrated and where crows’ feet are celebrated.

Re-imagining (our) birthdays (Dave Martin) June 2023

Could birthdays be opportunities for everyday conversations about attitudes to ageing? This workshop considered ideas on how to have pro-ageing birthday celebrations with family and friends, in the work place and of course for ourselves.

ArtSpeak Nottingham (Sharon Scaniglia) June 2023

This project has been: “confidence boosting”, “better than anti-depressants”, “discovery time for me”, “you’ve brought colour into my life”, “the sessions have been very therapeutic”, “ArtSpeak has enriched me in many ways".

The Power of Stories (Farrell Renowden) May 2023

"..this project has been a personal and professional awakening, hearing how creativity “found me when I needed it most”, “changed the world from black and white to vivid colour” and “changed me as a person in every way conceivable"."

How Lived Experience Inspired an A-Z (Helen Fountain) May 2023

"Within minutes... a text came through from one of our CALEN members suggesting an A-Z of Creative Ageing, such a simple idea but perfect for the Age of Creativity Festival and ideal for a website-based challenge."

(Quick) Stepping out of our comfort zone (Helen Fountain, Maggie Twydell and Janet Parry) April 2023

Oxfordshire's Age Friendly Creative Ambassadors share their experience of a recent visit to the Mill Arts Centre in Banbury to see a dance performance - Let’s Play Forever (Remarkable Dance Company) / Because I Can (Eva Recacha).

Amplifying the Voices of our Oxfordshire Elders (Helen Fountain) February 2023

"For anyone thinking of setting up a Lived Experience group we can heartily recommend it as a highly rewarding and incredibly useful endeavour..."

We CAN Make Music (Farrell Renowden) February 2023

"You might’ve been good at that but you can be good at this […] I’m here to show everyone that you can make music.”

Age of Creativity Website 2.0 (Kate Castleden) February 2023

"The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed a change in our websites over the last 18 months..."

Celebrating Our Stories (Farrell Renowden) January 2023

"Research shows that people with similar life experiences have more in common than people with the same birthday, so why are these stereotypes about who is and isn’t in the creative room not questioned more?"

The Power of Partnerships (and Pantomime!) (Helen Fountain) January 2023

"Recent activities have reminded me of the value of partnership working and of the power of the arts and culture to support health and wellbeing..."

Home And Away ( Isobel Murdoch) January 2023

"Will taking part in arts for wellbeing initiatives from home go on growing now that Covid has retreated? Could this open up more opportunities for older people..."

Ageist or just intimate banter between friends? (Dave Martin) December 2022

But aren’t jokes about getting older just a bit of fun? Card manufacturers tell us it’s okay for people to send jokey cards about ageing because the senders are older themselves, that the intention is to laugh with the card receiver, not at them...

Starting a group: how the end of a class could spell the start of something new… (Creative Lives) December 2022

"If you’ve ever taken part in a fun class and mourned its loss at the end of term or when the project folds, then Ukeo’s Magnificent 9 might just provide you with the inspiration you need..."

Valuing our Volunteers (Kate Castleden) December 2022

"It was great to be reminded of the magic of stories, and how they help us escape from everyday reality and encourage us to imagine different characters and other worlds..."

From Lockdown to Lived Experience (By Helen Fountain) November 2022

"A local history heritage engagement project getting together in a room, sharing memories, photographs and enjoying tea and cake. How could this happen if we couldn’t meet in person? ”

'Creativity comes to us at different times but always the right time' (By Farrell Renowden) November 2022

"I am still astounded by the wisdom of the creative people we work with and challenged to think differently about age, ageing and creativity in my practice..." Learn more about the early beginnings of the New National Age Friendly Creative Network.

Positive Projects to Boost Wellbeing (Helen Fountain and Madeleine Sugden ) October 2022

“Age UK's vision is a world where everyone can love later life. We don't want people just to survive but to thrive. Good mental wellbeing is key to this..."

International Day of Older Persons (Kate Castleden) October 2022

'It was an opportunity to be reminded of the stark reality that many people aren’t online and, for some, events like this are a lifeline...'

Freedom Within a Framework (Farrell Renowden) October 2022

‘Co-creation’ is a buzz word that has been around for a while, yet it still appears to mean different things depending on who you talk to'...

Framing Oxford - discovering local history in lockdown (Helen Fountain & Mark Lawrence) November 2021

A project to support local older people to engage with local history archives, share their photography skills and local history knowledge whilst offering the opportunity to form friendships and create community connections.

Susie Lidstone - An older artist's perspective (Susie Lidstone) October 2021

Farnham-based artist Susie Lidstone shares her thoughts on art, creativity and the value of being an older artist

Oxford Playhouse & Age UK Oxfordshire partner up to create Tea Talks during the lockdown (Beth Sedgwick) ARCHIVED 2020

Beth has developed a 30 minute chat session for older people who have limited access to technology this year. Find out how it works.

TWD Radio (Pete Hill) ARCHIVED 2020

Pete Hill tells of how his love of radio inspired him to create a weekly show for people with dementia which reaches 850,000 listeners weekly.

Musical Autobiographies - Repairing Self-Identity through Song (Nick J Jones) ARCHIVED 2020

Nick has spent the past few years experimenting with composing bespoke, tailor made songs, about the individual and their life. At the heart of his practice lies the question of whether person-centred musical autobiographies can offset the most damaging impact of dementia: the loss of identity.

Introducing a New Initiative in the Ageing Sector (Isobel Murdoch) ARCHIVED 2020

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.

A Makeover for your Next Birthday (card) (Hannah McDowall (WIGS) & Dave Martin (CPA)) ARCHIVED 2020

After reading this Blog on birthday cards you'll think twice about buying those 'humorous' cards poking fun at getting older.

Digital Connections (Stephen Moore, Project Manager Gloucester Life Changes) ARCHIVED 2020

Age UK Gloucestershire has been busy building its repertoire of on-line activities recently...including a disco.

Imagination Arts moved its dance classes on line (Hannah Reynolds, Company Director, Imagination Arts) ARCHIVED 2020

Imagination Arts were able to move 4 out of its 6 Movement to Music classes for over 60s online, with the majority of its participants continuing to take part in the weekly classes. Find out how they did it.

Age UK Enfield - our creative response to Covid-19 (By Alison Gordon - Service Manager Social Prescribing) ARCHIVED 2020

This is a fascinating to read how one branch of Age UK responded to the lockdown during the pandemic. To download the Home Exercise pack go to http://festival.ageofcreativity.co.uk/downloads/

Making the road (Penny Thewlis, CEO, Age UK Oxfordshire) ARCHIVED 2020

Penny reflects I on the question, since lockdown...how has the role of creativity changed in the Age sector?

Since Lockdown... how is the cultural sector adapting to deliver creativity for, with and by older people? (Flora Faith-Kelly) ARCHIVED 2020

Flora tells us how since lockdown, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is finding new ways to engage with older adults across Lewisham previously involved in our Inspired not Tired programme via dance classes, singing and movement groups and various other creative projects.

Darkness and Light in Lockdown (Nicky Taylor) ARCHIVED 2020

Nicky Taylor of Leeds Playhouse reports on working remotely with people with dementia during lockdown Britain.

Towards a live streaming creative ageing movement for older people (Elizabeth Brooke) ARCHIVED 2020

Elizabeth Brooke gives an Australian perspective

Theraputic Creativity at Nottingham Playhouse (Melissa May Smith) ARCHIVED 2020

Melissa explains the benefits of creative therapy courses she runs at Nottingham Playhouse

Roundabout Dramatherapy (Susan Crockford) ARCHIVED 2020

Read how Roundabout offers professional, effective and creative dramatherapy sessions in care homes. It uses different creative media and techniques including: art images, collage work, music and movement, poetry, traditional folk tales, story creating and telling, reminiscence, puppets, props and costumes

Music on Prescription (Chris Beck) ARCHIVED 2020

Meet Chris Beck who has been performing in care homes for the past 12 years. He strongly believes music and song is a powerful and tuneful tonic that can ease the feeling of isolation, initiate interaction, create fun and laughter and improve health and well-being.

The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Life (Becky Edmunds) ARCHIVED 2020

Becky tells of an extraordinary find that has led to her developing 'toolkit' of ideas for creative sessions for groups exploring the stories and memories of older people. I hope to reconnect people with the value of journal writing as a regular practice which has proven benefits for health and wellbeing.

Age UK Gloucestershire?s Vibrant Ukulele Group Age UK Gloucestershire's Vibrant Ukulele Group (Stephen Moore) ARCHIVED 2019

Stephen Moore tells us about introducing a ukulele and the positive effects it has achieved.

A Creative Group for Carers (Maggie Sanderson) ARCHIVED 2019

Maggie Sanderson tells how an innovative, creative group for Carers in Hereford has increased wellbeing and in those for whom they care

When Old Age Is A Fun Age (Nakib Narat) ARCHIVED 2019

Nakib Narat's passion for the Chorlton Good Neighbour's Drama Workshops he leads is inspirational. Now in its 2nd year it has over 100 attendees and performed several times for the public.

The Power of Music for People Living With Dementia and their Carers (Dr Warren Donnellan and others) ARCHIVED 2019

Dr Donnellan offers an insight into a new project which aims to design, deliver and evaluate an individual music listening intervention for older adults living with dementia and their carers.

Music Matters (Bronte Heath) ARCHIVED 2019

In 2016 Landermeads Care Home worked with the University of Nottingham on their research project, 'Soundtrack to My Life'. The motive was to investigate the effect that music has on those living with a dementia in a care home setting. This is the story of how it integrated the findings into every day activities.

Making Musical Bridges (Charlotte Miller ) ARCHIVED 2019

Intergenerational Music Making (IMM), one of the UK's pioneers of intergenerational music projects, was born from Charlotte Miller's passion of working as a music therapist with the elderly and the very young in a variety of different settings.

Music In Care Homes (Fiona Pritchard) ARCHIVED 2019

Read Fiona Pritchard's Blog on her role as Music and Arts Partner across 21 care homes in the south of England.

Creating a comic about living with dementia with people with dementia (Sarah McNicol) ARCHIVED 2019

A group of nine people living with dementia, supported by dementia advocates from the Beth Johnson Foundation in Stoke-on-Trent, worked alongside artists in a series of arts workshops to find ways to represent and depict their experiences of the condition in a comic format.

Exploring people with Dementia Experiences (Alison Ward) ARCHIVED 2019

Alison Ward's Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship meant a to visit Denmark to learn about the different ways that they work creatively with people with dementia. She spent time at a school for dementia where they have developed classes which are specifically aimed at supporting people with dementia, who attend the school as students. They participate in a range of different classes, including, cognitive training, music and art therapy plus physical exercise.

Storytelling is my super power what's yours? (Richard O'Neill) ARCHIVED 2019

Award-winning Richard enthuses about creating new empowering stories which have many benefits for our 21st century communities.

Aspire Community Huddersfield (Susanna Shotter) ARCHIVED 2019

This is the inspiring story of one young woman with a career in Occupational Therapy and two young children, who experienced mental health issues and went on to launch the successful Aspire Creating Communities project in Huddersfield. The older people in her groups never quite know what to expect - it could be local artists, storytellers, musicians, historians, or inter-generational sessions with local schools and The Prince's Trust young adults, the one thing they know is that they'll have fun ...

Bridging the gap (Zoe Dunbar) ARCHIVED 2019

Zoe Dunbar explores social isolation in the older Manchester Chinese community

'When I was little' - Memory Sharing at the Museum (Emma Riley) ARCHIVED 2019

'When I was little' is a free activity for children aged three - seven to enjoy with their grandparents or older relatives at National Museums Liverpool museums and galleries. The activities are designed to allow children and older people to experience the museum together, explore museum objects and share stories and memories.

Age of Creativity Festival Blog - Week 2 (Farrell Curran) ARCHIVED 2019

It's week two and we've been blown away with the number of Festival events this year and the level of engagement we've had on social media. Not only have we connected with events from across the county, but I feel as though I've really got a flavour of the type of work so many of you are doing both in person and online.

Intergenerational Music Making (Charlotte Miller) ARCHIVED 2019

Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) was created to bring about positive social change for local communities and especially those suffering with Dementia. IMM brings together local schools, care homes, colleges and universities to create exciting and meaningful music therapy projects to improve well-being, mental health, tackle loneliness and help integrate local communities.

Age Of Creativity Festival Blog (Farrell Curran) ARCHIVED 2019

As we move into the second week of the Age of Creativity Festival 2019, our Festival Manager reflects back on some of the highlights so far from week one.

Enhancing Health (Cindy Brooks) ARCHIVED 2019

Enhancing health, wellbeing and quality of life for all? Cindy Brooks reflects on the role of artistic practices in society

Still Stomping (Sian Stevenson) ARCHIVED 2019

Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company working with older dancers for some time. Here Sian Stevenson talks about its latest venture into Intergenerational projects.

EngAge Rotherham: Connecting with Creativity (Age UK Rotherham) ARCHIVED 2019

Groups from EngAge Rotherham, part of Age UK, worked with AoC and 64 million artists to create our Age of Creativity May Daily Challenge. Ian Choke remains convinced of the importance of groups like this and the volunteers who lead them with love and creativity.

Cubitt Artist Community Studios (Cubitt Artists) ARCHIVED 2019

Cubitt Artists run a community studios scheme in which artists are able to develop sensitive, responsive relationships with older people on a one-to-one basis. Plans often change as artists collaborate with participants, producing the unexpected.

Mumuration Arts Inspiring Communities (Marian Duggan) ARCHIVED 2019

Marian delivers a thoughtful piece on how dance helps older people and the important factors that need to be considered.

The Cinema, Memory and Wellbeing Project (Lisa Shaw) ARCHIVED 2019

Lisa Shaw explains how Carmen Miranda fever sealed the success of the University of Liverpool's project.

Giving Audiences Remote Control (Natalie Walton) ARCHIVED 2018

Natalie Walton, Learning and Outreach Manager, Arts Council Collection, National Partners Programme, looks at ways of attracting the over 75s into our museums

Flourishing Creative Friendships (Emily Chilvers) ARCHIVED 2018

After almost 8 years teaching pottery to the 65+ Emily decided to put on her first collaborative exhibition of four of her regular groups to celebrate their work and the stories behind what they make

More than Movement: Investigating dance for people with Parkinson's (Dr Jude Bek) ARCHIVED 2018

Dr Jude Bek, Research Associate in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester details the beneficial effects of dance for people with Parkinson's, including reports of improvements in movement, mood and even thinking skills.

Creative Journeys (Andrew Ward) ARCHIVED 2018

Andrew Ward of Essex CC, explains how Creative Journeys, an innovative and exciting project exploring the role of arts and culture in care settings, supports and maintains relationships between older people, care staff and the wider community.

Magic Me (Deborah Mason) ARCHIVED 2018

Deborah Mason of Magic Me on the value of intergenerational work to older people and the community.

Age is no barrier to the Digital Arts (Kate Duncan) ARCHIVED 2018

Age is no barrier to the Digital Arts says Kate Duncan of City Arts Nottingham.

Open Arms Collective (Angela Conlon) ARCHIVED 2018

Open Arms Artists' Collectivem in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, is committed to working creatively with older people.

Creative Minds (Chiswick Care Home) ARCHIVED 2018

Creative Minds enjoy making art with older people with learning difficulties at Chiswick Care Home

Everyone has a Voice (Creative Minds) ARCHIVED 2018

Creative Minds Social Enterprise Community, our aims are to make art accessible to all and through the art give everyone a voice; a chance to express themselves

Creative Age Challenge 2018 (Kate Parkin) ARCHIVED 2018

A celebration of creativity in dementia and the community launches this month. Kate Parkin from creative ageing charity Equal Arts talks about how Creative Age Challenge is making difference to participants and cultural venues.

Observations in Nature (Ellie Robinson) ARCHIVED 2018

Observations in Nature is a photography and book-making project for people living with dementia

Creative Engagement in Housing & Care (Rachael Dinnage) ARCHIVED 2018

Rachael Dinnage tells her work at Central & Cecil Central & Cecil Housing Trust where there is a special focus on the benefits the arts can bring to later life.

Joie de Vivre (Lisa Lort & Emilie Barton) ARCHIVED 2018

Joie de Vivre - A celebration of dance for, by and with older people, a day at Pavillion Dance South West Bournemouth written by Lisa Lort & Emilie Barton

Live Age Festival (Isla Telford) ARCHIVED 2018

Isla Telford reflects on the 4th Live Age Festival at the New Vic Theatre and 1st October at Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Singing your way to better health (Udita Everett) ARCHIVED 2018

Sing for Better Health organises singing groups in the Brighton & Hove area. Here Udita Everett explains what the organisation does and the benefits it can bring.

All the World A Stage (Living the Drama) ARCHIVED 2017

Living the Drama offers interesting insights from its experience of taking theatre into Care Homes.

Ageing more Artfully (David Cutler) ARCHIVED 2017

David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation, gives an insight into how far this nation has come in creative ageing, siting successful examples from around the country. His conclusion is that we have come a long way but that we have unfinished business.

Ceramics Activities in Nightingale Hammerson's Clapham Home (Emily Hall) ARCHIVED 2017

Emily Hall is an experienced ceramicist. Here she tells of her experience of working with people with dementia in a care home setting.

Flintlock Theatre's Four Score Years and Ten (Flintlock Theatre) ARCHIVED 2017

Read Flintlock Theatre's experience of creating verbatim theatre with older people at its heart.

Art in Mind (Heather Thomas) ARCHIVED 2017

Heather Thomas, of Art in Mind, has been running art classes for people with dementia and their carers for many years. Here she tells of the joy and benefits it has brought.

To Make is to Live (Paul Cann) ARCHIVED 2017

Paul Cann, a former Chief Executive of Age UK Oxfordshire, waxes lyrical about the need for social prescribing

Culture, Kopi and Kueh (Sharon Chen) ARCHIVED 2016

Museums in Singapore found it difficult to overcome barriers to attendance experienced by older people and their carers. Sharon Chen tells how they found inspiration from a talk given by Wendy Gallagher from the Whitworth Arts Gallery.

Cracking the Crinoline (Sian Stevenson) ARCHIVED 2016

Sian Stevenson, Director of Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company, has created a very successful dance company of older women which has performed from London to Paris. Here she reveals her and their motivation.

Creativity and Ageing in Japan (Jason Danley) ARCHIVED 2016

Jason Danley, of Brookes University, has spent time in Japan finding out how its long tradition of cultural and artistic appreciation underwrites the vigour in which its post-retirement population pursue their creative interests.

Stories for Wellbeing in Later Life (Fiona Hamilton) ARCHIVED 2016

Fiona Hamilton uses many techniques to get the creative juices flowing in her sessions. Here she reveals some that might inspire you.

Cornwall Museums Partnership (Chloe Hughes) ARCHIVED 2016

Chloe Hughes, of Cornwall Museums Partnership, explains how three museums worked collaboratively with artists, using their collections as inspiration to create opportunities for older people to be inspired.

The Appleby Tate, One Year on! (James Cropper) ARCHIVED 2016

James Cropper, founder of Arts and Minds, tells of the profound effect opening the Appleby Tate Art gallery at Appleby House Care Home has had.

Fergus Early - Remembering to Dance (Fergus Early) ARCHIVED 2016

Fergus Early gives a brief history of Green Candle Dance Company and a few things he has observed and absorbed about working with people living with dementia.

Jacksons Lane - Working with Older People (Stuart Cox) ARCHIVED 2016

Stuart Cox, of Jackson's had no experience of running arts participation groups for older people so he started talking to them and found that 'fun' was the element they most needed.

Everything Stops for Tea (Rebecca Seymour) ARCHIVED 2016

Tea and music sessions held in elderly care wards in a Salisbury Hospital have shown patients reporting physical, cognitive, social and emotional benefits and staff often stating feelings of wellbeing and uplift whilst working during these sessions. Rebecca Seymour, Elevate Co-ordinator, tells all.