Farnham Maltings launches a brand new programme, following on and expanding the impressive work of the Arts & Elders scheme.

Whilst the Arts & Elders programme focused on activities for ages 65 and over, the Arts & Health strand aims to look into the health and well-being of all age bands, programming work that will reach across the generations. From Chaos Choir (for new parents) to Take Care (for dementia carers), Meet Me at the Maltings (social crafting) and Making Keepsake Boxes (preserving memories) the programme of well-being enhancing arts activity is continually evolving.

“Farnham Maltings is actively fulfilling its civic role within the town, strengthening our community well-being through arts projects, making this a happier and safer place to live, for all ages. “ – Kath Boddy, Arts & Health Programmer.

In conjunction with Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May), the Arts & Health programme have multiple sessions to offer those suffering with dementia and their carers. The week commenced on Monday with a session where Maltings staff were trained by Right at Home to become ‘Dementia Friends’. Singing for the Brain, which runs three times a month, is a fantastic hour-long singing class offering participants the chance to share memories and a love of songs of all musical styles. It costs £3 to take part and the next class takes place on 23 May. Another initiative which began in March of this year, Take Care, is specifically tailored towards supporting carers of people with dementia. These sessions involve informal and friendly evening workshops with professional actors, bringing together local carers to share experience and support. The next session runs on 17 May as part of Dementia Awareness Week, but further workshops will be available in the autumn.

New to the programme is Chaos Choir, which is about to begin a six week pilot stage. It’s a child-friendly singing group for new parents with babies and toddlers in which kids can play in the same room while their parents sing. Aimed at parents and led by professional choir leader Ciara Burrows, the sessions are relaxed and informal, so participants can take time out to deal with a tantrum or a nappy change! With Swedish research suggesting that singing in a group increases oxygen levels in the blood and triggers the release of “happy” hormones such as oxytocin, both adults and children will benefit from these inclusive and supportive music sessions.

It costs £3 per session to join the choir which runs on Thursdays, between 11am and 12pm. The first class begins on Thu 02 Jun.

For more details on all the classes, please visit the Arts & Health page.

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