edna – energise dance nourish art is a distinctive dance, arts, health and well being project especially designed for older adults aged 55+ years. It will pilot a creative dance/movement, arts and science research based activity that will happen in two community settings in Medway and Gravesham.

NKLAAP (North Kent Local Authority Arts Partnership) has awarded £25,000 to
develop edna which aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the health
benefits of dance and arts for older people in relation to Local Authorities statutory duty to look a preventative health with an ageing population.

In addition to this award, Medway Council’s Arts Development Team have also
awarded a fund to Medway Older People’s Partnership to work with NKLAAP’s
Project Manager to be a voice for older people in Medway and help promote edna.
The health benefits achieved through the programme will be measured using testing
methods put in place by project researchers from Trinity Laban, an internationally
renowned conservatoire of contemporary dance and pioneering work in Dance
Science and Sidney De Haan Research Centre, known for their excellent research
involving music and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of well-being and health of individuals and communities. It is anticipated that the research will prove the positive benefits that dance, movement and arts has on older people. We
hope that through this the research it will highlight the benefits of high quality arts provision to look at embedding this within residential care, day care, hospices,
hospitals and other community settings where there is lack or no provision.

edna will aim to assess the physiological, psychological and mental well-being of
older people. It will take into consideration the effects creative dance and arts can
have on the following elements:

 Balance (measuring gait)
 Muscles and bones (flexibility or range of motion at a joint and upper body
 Self Esteem (self- respect or pride in oneself)
 Isolation and loneliness (bringing people together and empowering
Professional and experienced artists will devise some activity ideas to then work with
older people in each community setting (1 in Medway, 1 in Gravesham) engaging up
to 40 older people.

Luci Napleton, Project Manager says,
“edna is an excellent opportunity for older adults aged 55+years to shape and
develop stimulating and appropriate arts activities with professional artists. This
project has the potential to increase balance, shoulder ability, self-esteem and
encourage older people to make healthy life style choices as well as bringing them
out of isolation and loneliness”.

North Kent Local Authorities Arts Partnership, NKLAAP is a partnership of two local
councils, Gravesham Borough Council and Medway Unitary Authority, working
closely with Kent County Council and Arts Council England, South East.
Formed in 2003 following consultation with the Local Government Association, Local
Authority representatives and the publication Vision for Partnership, NKLAAP was
established as one of 12 sub-regional partnerships with guidance from Arts Council
England, South East.

The Partnership way of working represents an important step forward in maximising
the benefits the arts can bring to communities and individuals within each local area.
The arts can be a powerful tool for engaging and encouraging local communities to
express their needs and aspirations. NKLAAP aims to meet these needs by
providing a wide range of projects and opportunities, which will be open to
communities, schools, groups and artists.

Medway Older People’s Partnership
Medway Older People’s Partnership, MOPP work together as older people, with
older people and the organisations that represent them in Medway to fulfill their
needs and aspirations in a complete and joined up way now an in the future.

Trinity Laban
Trinity Laban is an internationally renowned conservatoire for professional
contemporary dance training, at the forefront of developing undergraduate,
postgraduate and professional level courses. Based in an awe-inspiring landmark
building in Deptford Creekside, SE8, state-of-the-art facilities include 13 dance
studios, a health suite, café and 300-seat purpose built theatre.

Sidney De Haan Research Centre
The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health is committed to
researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of well-being and health of individuals and communities.