Sounding Out Your Heritage
Using learning to improve health and well-being in older adults
Tuesday 25 May 2010 at St George’s Centre, Chatham Maritime, Kent
This free one-day conference was for all those interested in improving older people’s health, confidence and quality of life through heritage learning.
These pages describe what the conference was all about and what happened. You can > download a copy of the presentations and > see copies of the “walls & trees” and “quilts” which delegates produced in the brainstorming sessions.
We know that improving access to informal learning for older people in residential care, day care and sheltered housing settings can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their health and confidence, and dramatically improve the quality of their lives. This conference will helped delegates understand the positive impact of on-going heritage learning, and showed how they could develop similar programmes.
Delegates heard from participants, project staff and partners who were recently involved in Sounding Out Your Heritage – a pilot heritage learning project for the over 60s. They also:
- heard about the project’s outputs and outcomes
- were advised of the practicalities and potential pitfalls of these initiatives
- shared good practice and lessons learned
- developed their work in heritage learning for the over 60s
- brainstormed ways of embedding this type of activity in their day to day work
- looked at ways of working with the over 60s to keep them living independently longer
- networked and found new partners
The conference was the culmination of GEM’s Sounding Out Your Heritage project funded by the Transformation Fund as part of a ‘learning for pleasure’ initiative spearheaded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
GEM has also published a Sounding Out Your Heritage toolkit which is available in print and online. This toolkit enables more individuals and organisations to plan informal heritage learning activities with the over 60s, and explains how such activities can improve the quality of their lives. All delegates attending the conference received a printed copy – fresh from the printers!
Conclusions of delegates
There was general consensus amongst delegates that this type of work is important and should be taken forward. For this to happen there needs to be a greater understanding between sectors so that effective partnerships can be created leading to integrated services, and opportunities for joined up training. It was felt that sectors would benefit from training each other, and that participants and their families, carers, befrienders, etc. could also benefit from training. This would lead to participants eventually training or at least mentoring other participants, thus contributing to the sustainability of programmes and making exit strategies more transparent.
Suggestions for how understanding between sectors can be improved included creating a directory of useful agencies; a ‘match up service’ on the GEM website where providers and clients could come together; and dissemination of information in housing and social care journals, newsletters and events, such as Care Quality Commission (CQC) and local authority adult social services conferences.
The programme for the day was as follows:
10.00 Registration & refreshments
10.30 Welcome & introduction
Dr John Stevenson, director, GEM
10.40 Mystery session
Martin Crowther, education manager, Canterbury Museums
11.10 Involving and encouraging tenants
Cllr Tony Austin, housing portfolio holder, Canterbury City Council
11.20 Working with the housing sector
Chrissy Stower, project manager
11.30 Walls & leaves
Roundtable discussions on how housing, care and heritage sectors can work together better to deliver on-going heritage learning activities
Download copies of the “walls & leaves”
12.15 Buffet lunch & networking
13.15 Sounding Out Your Heritage Outputs, outcomes & the toolkit
Dr John Stevenson, director, GEM
13.35 Best Practice Toolkit: How to make a story quilt
Kim Klug, project coordinator, GEM
13.45 Quilt of ideas
Roundtable discussions on how to move forward
Download copies of the “quilts”
14.30 Questions & answers
15.30 Summing up / Feedback