Two foundations have jointly launched the Digital Arts and Creative Ageing fund to offer a novel solution to the problem of loneliness in old age. According to research by Age UK, more than a million over 65s in the UK feel ‘always lonely’ or ‘very lonely’. With government projections suggesting that almost 20 per cent of the UK population will be over 65 by 2024, that figure is likely to rise.
In response, The Nominet Trust and The Baring Foundation have invested a total of £406,231 in the fund which will be shared between five organizations, chosen for their imaginative application of digital technology and their ability to scale and extend existing creative arts initiatives to the over 65s.
The projects offer older people the chance to make a range of 2D and 3D craft products, interactive drama sessions, a portable digital ‘kit’ which helps give older people the freedom to express themselves through movement and dance (‘Digital Doris’), interactive drama sessions, virtual visits to galleries and cultural venues, and the chance to engage in creative activities that they normally wouldn’t, like painting a self-portrait.
The initiative also appears to be an example of a happy blending of the skills of the two funders. Nominet Trust describes itself as ‘the UK’s leading tech for good funder’ while the Baring Foundation is known for its efforts to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged groups.