ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

Full Report 55 …to be honest, if I was them, I’d probably think, “Oh good, I can go and have a break while this is happening.” So I don’t blame them for not being there…the demands on the care staff…they don’t stop. And it’s really difficult for them to find that space and that time. Arts organisation post-residency Rather than having a consistent group of care home staff involved throughout the residency in each home, it was often whoever was available at the time, and this was sometimes agency staff who didn’t have the existing relationships with or knowledge about the residents. Artists tried to take this into consideration by thinking about how staff could be involved as a one-off or wherever possible, and when staff did engage they reported a good level of connection. Photo: Stephen Daly Creative practice in care home contexts The ARCH programme required adapting creative practice to the care home context; consideration of creative spaces and inclusive creative practice; artists’ learning and development; and responding to care home staff and artists’ wellbeing. Adapting to care homes How to adapt their creative practice to the care home context was an ongoing consideration for arts organisations throughout the ARCH programme. Those that had not worked in care homes before saw it as a new and exciting opportunity, and all arts organisations expressed a strong desire to bring their practice to residents and staff. Nonetheless, navigating this unique setting was also challenging. How we bring our practice versus the environment we find ourselves in, what we are going to do as artists in that space – that’s a challenge. Artists’ reflection session R&D The artists took time to understand the care home environment and used the care home introduction days and R&D sessions to think about how they could adapt to specific aspects, such as the structure and routines of the care home day, the space available to them, the requirements of management, the technology, and the unpredictability.