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Creative Expression and Engagement Within the Older Community

Resource type: Grantee Story

Entering Cregagh Community Centre in Belfast, one could be forgiven for assuming that this facility would offer little more than typical leisure activities to its older citizens. However, 12 men and women, all over age 65 and from different backgrounds, came together for an engaging, uplifting two-hour workshop that ranged from role-playing and storytelling to characterisations and mime.

Laughter underpins the structured method of engaging the participants in the Big Telly Theatre Company’s Spring Chickens initiative. This unique two-year programme focuses on creative expression and engagement within the older community through workshops in sheltered accommodations, residential homes, day-care centres, older people’s groups and homes in rural areas. The initiative will culminate in October 2009 with five professionally produced shows performed simultaneously across Northern Ireland. Spring Chickens challenges perceptions to inspire others to see the older generation as active community members.

“The energy and passion our facilitators put into the workshops create such an uplifting and pleasant experience. After every workshop, I have a chat with the participants and every time the question is the same – ‘when can we do this again?,'” said Crona Lynch, Project Manager.

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Global Impact:

Northern Ireland


Big Telly Theatre Company, Spring Chickens