WHAT'S OUR SOCIAL IMPACT?
Read about the difference we have made - what we have noticed, what others have told us and the stories from our projects so far...
The Connection Space CIC is interested in understanding how our projects have impacted on the lives of those that have accessed them. We do this by establishing peoples individual project hopes and goals, provide the support required to access the project and review their hopes/goals at the end of the project. We also use other outcome measures to evaluate overall project aims and objectives. The telling of participant stories to capture their journey is our most favourite way to better understand our social impact, supporting us to learn and grow as an organisation.
VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT FOR A PERSON LIVING WITH DEMENTIA
The Connection Space CIC was delighted to be able to facilitate this volunteer placement in the cafe at Matlock Farm Park. This enabled a person living with dementia to use her skills, return to a role that she had previously enjoyed and to feel a sense of purpose each time she worked with the rest of the team in the busy cafe environment. She tells us it is one of her highlights of the week!
This placement started in September 2018.
CARE TO DANCE
Whilst collaborating with The Claire Dobinson School of Dancing and Mary Derrick (Independent Occupational Therapist), the CIC was able to provide opportunities for people to experience the therapeutic benefits of dance and music activities for those who might otherwise find it difficulty accessing dance sessions. This was a particular opportunity for people living with dementia. The sessions aimed to be fun, multi-sensory and to promote self expression through movement.
The dancers told us they often felt brighter in mood after dancing, more motivated and better able to get on with their everyday activities. Carers often told us that their loved ones were calmer and more engaging for the rest of the day following a Care to Dance session. This project ran from 2018-19.
MENS SUPPORT GROUP
The Connection Space CIC ran a 'Mens Support Group' facilitated by Robyn Hughes (Counsellor). It started in 2018 prompted by an identified need from a number of local men living with low level mental health needs. Following the support from the Counsellor to facilitate the group run by men, for men, meetings at The Connection Space, 72 Bank Road, Matlock or out in the community.
CARE FARMING PROJECT
It was an exciting time for the CIC to run their first project at Matlock Farm Park - The Care Farming Project! The project was facilitated by an Occupational Therapist and Counsellor, providing therapeutic nature based activities for people living with dementia and their carers. The project also attracted an enthusiastic and skilled team of volunteers to support the project. The CIC received very positive feedback from all involved, giving way to the momentum to create further projects to benefit the local community.
This project has ran over the period of September 2017 to July 2019. People who have accessed it have wished for it to continue, value to expertise of the facilitators and were attracted to it because it was active in its nature and promoted access to the outdoors what ever the weather! It was also of particular interest to men and younger people living with dementia.
The Connection Space CIC secured funding via the Derbyshire Dales Social Connectedness Fund in August 2020, however our planned face to face project could not go ahead due to the pandemic. Given the increasing affects of isolation and loneliness during the pandemic it felt important to use these monies to deliver an alternative project, with many of the same themes in the original planned project of volunteering, nature connectedness and activity. The project became the Connecting Communities Project.
‘Connecting Communities' offered a number of opportunities to creatively connect with others through some face to face nature based supported volunteering, provision of Seasonal Wellbeing Activity Packs, Grow and Gift kits, shared yarn based activities (‘Yarn IT’) and Recipes to Share.
We connected with over 200 people through this project. This is some of the feedback…
“It makes me think about doing other things.”
“It opened my mind to new ideas, simple and easy to follow.”
“Engaging, worthwhile, mindful, relaxing, comforting, thought provoking and enjoyable.”
“A welcome parcel of ‘nice things’ to take our minds of COVID.”
BRINGING DANCE TO CARE
We were super excited to start this project at a local care home for people living with dementia, but then COVID hit and the project came to an abrupt end due to the restrictions placed upon us and the care sector due to the COVID pandemic.
An Occupational Therapist and Dance Practitioner worked collaboratively with the care team, building knowledge and skills within the care team to better understand their role and contribution to bringing dance to everyday care for their residents living with dementia. We considered the theory behind good practice, the therapeutic environment, use of self and plenty of other easy access resources for the team to use and learn.
With the commitment to build meaningful activity within the care home setting, a resource guide to ‘Bring Dance to Care’ has been created with the remaining project funds. If you are interested in receiving a copy, we have a limited number of copies available free of charge to care homes in the Derbyshire Dales, just make contact.
If you would like a copy of the resource for an agreed donation, please also make contact.
YOUNG WOMEN'S CREATIVE GROUP
We are working on this.