Art and creativity flourish in Killybegs Community Hospital

“Our aim is to inspire people aged 50-plus to live a dynamic life"

Art and creativity flourish in Killybegs hospital

Client at the Killybegs Community Hospital get creative at their basket weaving class

Championing the creativity and value of older people, combating stereotypes and negative views while building more positive attitudes towards older people and ageing are just some of the benefits clients in the Killybegs Community Hospital experienced thanks to a unique project that took place in 2019.

Visual artist Andy Parsons was the Age & Opportunity Artist in Residence at the hospital. During his time there he provided older people residing there with an opportunity to take part in art and creativity.

Age & Opportunity is the national organisation working to improve the quality of life of people aged 50 to 100 plus.

Although their activities were curtailed somewhat this year by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Age & Opportunity are currently in planning for the next Artist in Residence initiative after funding was confirmed in July.

They are hoping to make a return to Killybegs to renew their connections and build on the progress made there last year.

In 2019 Age & Opportunity organised six residencies around Ireland which were designed to bring the benefits of arts participation to up to 250 older people who either live in or visit care facilities.

The initiative also positively impacted on over 500 people, when you include all those involved – residents, staff, families, artists, and the wider community.

Andy lives in Sligo and his project celebrated the wealth of craft skills of the people of Donegal. His project aimed to capture the ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity of our older generation.

“Our aim is to inspire people aged 50-plus to live a dynamic life in which they are more active, more visible, more creative and more connected.

“We work with communities and groups nationwide to provide a range of opportunities for older people who want to get more involved in arts and culture, sport and physical activity, civic engagement and personal development.

“There is an amazing heritage of craft in Donegal, and that’s one of the things I was been keen to celebrate.

“We got hold of some willow and we tried to figure out how to make creels,” Andy said.

Age & Opportunity gratefully acknowledges the support of their Arts programme funders, the Arts Council, the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund, and the HSE.

Learn more about the 2019 Artist in Residence in a Care Setting initiative here:

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