The London Bubble Theatre Company has received a grant of nearly £250,000 to expand its programme for older adults, writes Jessie Kolvin.
The Creative Elders programme brings older Southwark residents together to create theatre, dance and music.
Its projects include the Rotherhithe Shed, a practical making space inspired by the Australian Men’s Shed movement, and a weekly drama workshop for people living in sheltered housing.
The programme works with 50 adults over the age of 65 weekly.
With their new grant, London Bubble hope that they will be able to reach 200-250 older adults.
They want to connect with people who live alone, but might struggle to access communal social spaces.
This new group will utilise other community spaces across Southwark which are oriented towards older adults.
Speaking of the grant, Jonathan Petherbridge, CEO of London Bubble Theatre said, “London Bubble theatre plays a strong civic role locally and having successfully established the Creative Elders Programme in the community over the last three years we are pleased to see Big Lottery continue its growth and development.
“With the Creative Elders Programme, we will use the creative power of theatre to improve mental and physical wellbeing of our older participants.”
Jill, who took part in the programme, shared her enthusiasm for London Bubble’s work: “When you get older, there are activities for older people, but there really aren’t activities quite like this that are really about creativity and it’s just great.
“You forget as you get older that you need to be creative, that it does keep you feeling younger.”