Creative Age Programme in Gloucestershire

Creative Age is an arts-based, social community project for people living with dementia and their carers who still live independently. They have gathered their stories of their activities during the Pandemic and what they have learned along the way.

During the last 9 months, Open Arms Artists Collective and Managing Memory Together (part of Gloucestershire Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust) in partnership with Bethesda Church has continued to engage with people living with dementia and their carers in creative and innovative ways in Cheltenham through Creative Age.

As they come to the end of their current programme funded by Thriving Communities, Creative Age thought you might be interested in hearing their story of Creative Age during the Pandemic and what they have learned along the way.  Please download their Project PDF – Creative Age during the Pandemic

Reflections Summary

Covid-19 has forced Creative Age to think outside the box, to adapt and develop their practise, to explore and discover. However, the pandemic continues to present huge challenges for the artists around the quality and depth of experience for participants in creative sessions. The restrictive conditions have impacted greatly on the flow and energy of sessions, on the depth of interaction, creative stimulation and imaginative involvement. Pre- and post-Covid comparisons may well be unhelpful. Whilst they remain committed to exploring and improving new ways of working, it’s still hard at times to put to one side what they know to be true: meeting together ‘in the flesh,’ quite simply, will always work best for Creative Age.

Creative Age are now at the stage of designing their new programme for 2021, and wanting to reach out to new people to join them on our their journey. Now is the time they really need support to find new people, charities and organisations who can help them, and to find the new recruits and the motivation to keep going.  Creative Age want to collaborate with CCGs, social prescribers, artists, individual practitioners and any organisations working in public health and the voluntary sector with groups similar to theirs. If you are one of these, please contact

Open Arms artists: Louise Bardgett and Lisa Harrison


Bethesda Methodist Church: Revd Naomi Cooke and Rachel Simpson






Creative Age

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