Notions of Home – Part 7

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Manly Court nursing home, New Cross Gate

How Entelechy Arts collaborations with care homes started

In 2010 Entelechy arts began their first programme of long-term collaborations in care homes with a four-year residency at Manly Court nursing home in New Cross Gate. Manly Court became the site of an exciting creative hub co-created by residents, staff, family, friends and artists. Their work together forged the values that guide us in the care home ‘Walking through Walls’ programme we have today, where artists and residents weave stories and develop ideas which come from the local area and each other’s life stories.

Artists Zoe Gilmour and Charlene Low and creative peer mentors, Rosie Wheatland, Sybil Reid and Lillian Bartholomew from our Elders Theatre Group (later joined by Pauline Payne), worked with residents and activities coordinators Janet, Theo and Lodup, to co-create a new cultural space. This was made possible with on-going funding from Deptford City Trust. The funding also included a residency by artists Barbara Kane and Chinyere Nwaubani at Deptford Mission, working with older house-bound members.

The ripple effect from weekly sessions at Manly Court care home
man in wheelchair singing into microphone held by a women
Image: Singer and raconteur Frankie Dickens with artist Zoe Gilmour holding the Deptford Albany Theatre audience, 2014.

The Entelechy Arts team soon discovered talented artists in residents Frankie Dickens (above), Cedric Skyers, Dulcie, Pauline Payne (the wife of a resident), and in Lodup – a care worker and Tibetan singer and musician. Our peer mentors inspired many residents through their own creativity: poets, performers, and singers emerging from Manley Court performed at our 21st Century Tea Dances at the Albany Theatre. Cedric went on to perform his poetry at the Kings Place with the Spitz charitable trust.

man in wheelchair with microphone and man with guitar smiling
Cedric Skyers performing his poem with Spitz Guitarist Alan Weekes, at the 21st Century Tea Dance, 2014.

The Manly Court ‘cultural hub’ became an inspiration and learning space for practitioners and new organisations: Director Jane Glitre introduced musicians who had played at the Spitz jazz venue in Spitalfields (which had closed down) to Entelechy Arts residency in the home. After observing the work at Manley Court, Jane developed her own unique template of introducing top musicians into care homes. She set up the Spitz charitable trust, now based at Bridge side Lodge care home in Islington. Entelechy Arts commissioned Spitz musicians to play at the Manly Court care home and Deptford Mission tea dances. This included playing alongside residents’ bedsides and in corridors. This collaboration with the Spitz continues today.

women dancing in care home corridor with a group of musicians

Image: The Spitz playing in the corridors at Manly Court care home in 2011 with Entelechy Arts peer mentors and artists.

The expertise our artists and peer mentors developed from their residency at Manly Court and Deptford Mission contributed to the design of the then-new ‘Meet Me at the Albany’ (MMA) programme for elders who are housebound, which started in 2013: Training and Continuing Professional Development for associate artists working at MMA included spending time at Manly Court care home with the Entelechy Arts team there.

Notions of Home can be viewed and downloaded here in full as a PDF

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