ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

Full Report 41 Research aims The ARU research team explored how the artists and care homes staff worked together to deliver and embed creative arts during the ARCH programme. The research aimed to: • Enhance knowledge and understanding of the collaboration between artists and care home staff in delivering creative arts experiences for older people. • Explore the understanding of artists and care home staff regarding the challenges and enablers of introducing arts activities in care homes to identify best practice for artists in residencies. The research took a qualitative approach that encouraged collective and individual reflection by the artists, care home staff, Excelcare and Magic Me throughout the R&D phase, artists’ residencies phase, and legacy and embedding phase of the ARCH programme. Ethical approval was granted by the ARU Education & Social Care School Research Ethics Panel. Research methods Phase 1: Research and development (R&D) During the introduction day, the ‘sticky notes’ method (Peterson and Barron, 2007) was used to invite arts organisations and Excelcare to respond to four questions throughout the day: how they felt about the prospect of delivering ARCH; what was seen as exciting, what were the anticipated challenges, and what skills would be needed. A focus group discussion at the end of the day reflected on the introduction and what was needed going forwards. ARU researchers observed the introduction visits in each of the four care homes to understand the preparations and planning for the ARCH programme. A focus group discussion reflected on the visit and the hopes and concerns for arts organisations and care homes. Telephone interviews were conducted with Care Home Managers to explore a strategic perspective on the ARCH programme. Photo: Paul Smethurst At the end of phase one, online focus groups were held with each of the four care homes to reflect on their experiences so far and identify good practice in preparation for phase two. An online focus group across the four arts organisations reflected on the learning from phase one and considerations to take forward (Excelcare and Care Home Managers were unable to participate due to work pressures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic). An online interview with Magic Me (Director and Programme Director) provided context for the study and explored the thinking and motivations behind the ARCH programme, their role during phase one, and their reflections on the collaborations so far. Phase 2: Artists’ residencies Due to the interruption and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, short online interviews were conducted pre-residency with arts organisations, care home staff who were leading on the ARCH programme (depending on the home this was the Lifestyle Coordinator and/or the Care Home Manager, sometimes joined by wider care home