Meet Me at the Albany: An innovative artist led day club for the over 60s

Posted on: 16 April 2014 by Olderiswiser Editorial

“What is happening here is very radical and I have been working in this area for 20 years” - Karel (Brian’s carer)

Albany and Entelechy Arts  Meet Me at the Albany is a creative day club for the over 60s quite unlike anything that has come before. Led by artists based at South East London’s Albany arts centre, participants are just as likely to be suspended on silks in a circus workshop, enjoying a performance of Neo Soul, or honing their spoken word skills with top poets like Simon Mole and Malika Booker, as they are to be drinking cups of tea or knitting.

The bold new approach to day care for the isolated old is spearheaded by the Albany and Entelechy Arts, and is a response to a public health agenda focussed on supporting the continued independence and healthy aging of older people. Reacting to increasing evidence of the loneliness of many of Britain’s aging population, Meet Me at the Albany provides a regular meeting place where participants can become involved in creative workshops, experience performances from leading artists or simply sit back and enjoy the atmosphere, as well as enjoying a home cooked hot meal and beverages for just £6 a day.

The programme of events takes place in the Albany’s bustling café and surrounding rooms, meaning that participants are fully integrated into the wider Albany and Entelechy communities, and participants will often be joined by members of the general public and Albany staff and residents for a sing-along around the piano. Future incarnations of the scheme will see Meet Me at the Albany attendees participating in creative projects with members of the Albany’s UNCOVER groups for young people, and creating performance work for Entelechy’s unique 21st Century Tea Dance Programme.

“(It’s) good to leave your home, to get away from your four walls and come together, use your imagination and do things that are worthwhile rather than just housework. I enjoy making new friends - people you never knew before. (My husband has) known me for 51 years and he never knew I could draw”- Velda, 80 years old, sole carer for her husband Henderson who has had a severe stroke

Meet Me at the Albany is hosted at and co-produced by the Albany, South East London’s leading arts centre based in Deptford, dedicated to building new kinds of social structures through the arts. It is co-produced with Entelechy Arts, one of the UK’s leading participatory arts organisations working with older people. The programme has been designed and implemented with the support of the London Borough of Lewisham. Producers and artists have worked closely with Adult Social Care Teams to ensure the effective dovetailing of the programme with targeted provision for those with greatest need.

For further information, please contact:

amber@thealbany.org.uk | 020 8692 4446 ext. 267 | 07782 222663 | @ambermb 

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