Supporting health participation: update on wave one

100% Digital Leeds has partnered with Local Care Partnerships (LCP) in Leeds to develop a community-based approach to support digital inclusion for improved digital health participation, with place-based Digital Health Hub networks at the heart. The approach is being rolled out across the city in waves, supporting four LCPs at a time during a six-month period. Five development workshops will be delivered in each wave. Three development waves will run consecutively over an 18 month period leading up to the launch of a city-wide Digital Health Hub network in mid-to-late 2024.

Wave One, Workshop One

Wave one, working with HATCH, Woodsley and Holt Park, Central, and Morley LCPs, was launched in October 2022 with the support of over £200,000 in NHS Health Inequalities funding which will increase third sector capacity for supporting digital inclusion in the 10% most deprived communities within those LCP footprints. 

Workshop One took place on 26th October 2022 at St. Chad’s Parish Centre and brought together over 20 organisations to introduce them to the project and start thinking about the digital inclusion needs of the communities they work with and within. Organisations in attendance were from across sectors and support a range of different communities of interest. Attendance included Age UK, Leeds Libraries, Barca, Kirkstall Valley Development Trust, The Salvation Army, social prescribers, Localities teams, and Primary Care Network (PCN) representatives.

The workshop was broken into four key sections:

  1. Understanding digital inclusion
  2. Understanding digital health participation
  3. Understanding Digital Health Hubs
  4. Moving forward

Organisations were brought together in their LCPs to discuss these points, pooling their knowledge and experience to paint a picture of the needs of the communities in their place and start thinking about practical solutions. 

Understanding digital inclusion

“The idea of going online and what that means to someone, and the reasons they might not, is very personal. It can be very overwhelming and make people feel very small.”

Workshop participant

Partners discussed what digital exclusion looks like to them, and how this impacts on the communities they work with and within. Based on their experience of supporting people and communities, partners identified the biggest barriers to digital inclusion in their place. Common barriers identified include cost of equipment and connectivity, age, poor literacy skills, hearing and sight loss, and cultural and language-based. It was recognised that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and any interventions need to be person-centred.

“It’s not just about getting devices, it’s about getting the right devices and data to people so it suits their needs. You can’t do homework on a mobile phone.” 

Workshop participant

Understanding digital health participation

“It’s about people being able to have a variety of options on how to access health services, and have the same opportunities as everyone else, so they don’t have to be stuck on the phone for an hour, and understanding that you don’t always have to leave the house to see the doctor or get a prescription.”

Workshop participant

Partners discussed what good digital health participation would look like for their communities, thinking about self-management and prevention as well as access to health services. Examples included supporting use of the NHS app, condition-specific self-management apps like myCOPD, help with using the internet to access relevant information, online peer-support, YouTube and other tools to help people move more, and digital tools to support the social integration of those who might struggle to get out and about for whatever reason. 

“It’s about helping people combat the fear that not seeing a doctor face-to-face will mean they don’t receive the same level of care.”

Workshop participant

Understanding Digital Health Hubs

Digital Health Hubs are key community organisations with trusted spaces and staff/volunteers on hand who can help people overcome barriers to digital inclusio, so that they can access relevant information and tools to improve their health and wellbeing. Organisations discussed whether they would be a good fit for developing as a Digital Health Hub or would be better suited in a supporting role: identifying digitally excluded people, helping them to understand the benefits of engaging with digital, and signposting to the Digital Health Hub network for that support. Organisations discussed what digital inclusion support they already offer, including whether they offer access to free wifi, support with digital skills, or loan digital equipment.

Moving forward

Depending on their potential role in the community-based approach, partners were invited to attend one or more of the following four development workshops planned for Wave One taking place in the coming months. Whether they joined us in in the initial workshop or not, organisations supporting people and communities in the HATCH, Woodsley and Holt Park, Central, and Morley LCPs that might be interested in becoming a Digital Health Hub are welcome to join us for the next meeting:

Workshop two: Developing a Digital Health Hub 

Wednesday 16th November 2022, 09:30 – 11:30am, Teams

Book your free ticket via Eventbrite

This Teams workshop is targeted at any groups or services who are interested in being a Digital Health Hub. Don’t worry right now about whether you have the staff, the tech, or the wifi to make this happen. This is exactly what we will be looking to talk through in the workshop. 

We’ll be looking at what being a Hub involves, checking where you are at now and what support (and funding) you may need to make this happen. Some of you will already be well on your journey to being a Hub whereas others may be just at the start of the journey.

If you have a community that you think would benefit from you offering a Hub then please come along and be part of the conversation.

Partner profile: The Old Fire Station

Since the start of this year The Old Fire Station in Gipton has worked with 100% Digital Leeds to understand and support the digital inclusion needs of communities in East Leeds. As an organisation offering many services under one roof, in a place where people feel safe and welcome, supported by caring and person-centred staff, The Old Fire Station is an ideal location to offer person-centred digital support.

Fran Etherington, Development Manager, standing outside The Old Fire Station
Fran Etherington, Development Manager, standing outside The Old Fire Station

“It’s about starting a conversation where someone feels safe and welcome, and it might take them a few visits to open that door and have that conversation but, when they do, they feel comfortable doing it”.

Fran Etherington, Development Manager at The Old Fire Station

Over the last nine months, 100% Digital Leeds has helped The Old Fire Station to access funding and resources to offer local people skills support via digital drop-in sessions and connectivity via the National Databank, and they have also become a Digital Health Hub. Clarion Housing has funded the organisation to deliver a digital oral history project using the building’s rich heritage as a catalyst for digital inclusion. Most recently The Old Fire Station has been awarded NHS health inequalities funding to host a full time member of staff to work with partners across the York Road Local Care Partnership footprint and continue the development of the Digital Health Hub Network.

“100% Digital Leeds has held our hands and supported us throughout our digital inclusion journey, helping us to develop all of our projects. From the conversations we need to have with the people who visit, trying to understand what we need to do, and how we’re going to do it. The support has been fantastic.”

Fran Etherington, Development Manager at The Old Fire Station

Bringing people and services together

The Old Fire Station is a vibrant and well-loved community venue in Gipton. It is a space where local people can come to socialise, access support, and have fun. The Old Fire Station hosts a range of events and activities that bring together local residents, from film nights to car boot sales. 

The building houses a number of charities offering support to people living locally and across Leeds:

  • Space2 is an arts and social change charity supporting health and wellbeing through the arts
  • People in Action supports people who are learning disabled and people who are autistic to live happy, healthy and independent lives
  • Zest offers support and opportunity to people living in disadvantaged areas of Leeds, addressing health inequalities and social isolation through activities which improve physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing
  • GIPSIL works with those in the most disadvantaged communities in Leeds to realise their potential, including supporting access to housing 
  • The centre is home to the popular and affordable Feel Good Café, a social enterprise run by SLATE an organisation that supports people with learning and other difficulties to access employment, training and volunteering opportunities. 

The charities work in close partnership to identify and meet the needs of local people and communities visiting The Old Fire Station and each has partnered with 100% Digital Leeds to support the digital inclusion of the people and communities they support.

“Folk come into the café because it’s a safe, warm space to be. We get a lot of people who are in quite severe difficulties. When the staff notice someone under stress they will go and chat to them and offer them a cup of tea and before you know it, in two weeks time, you’ll see that person at one of the groups, accessing support”.

Fran Etherington, Development Manager at The Old Fire Station

Supporting digital inclusion 

The many staff working across the different services at The Old Fire Station use person-centred conversations to understand the needs of the local residents, building trusted relationships with people over time. As their needs are understood they are signposted and supported to access some of the different services available across the building.

“We have the most amazing team of people here who are mainly local, really open and friendly, and just have that ability to make people feel really comfortable.”

Fran Etherington, Development Manager at The Old Fire Station

Free wifi and 4G data 

For East Leeds residents without access to wifi or struggling with fuel costs The Old Fire Station is a safe, warm, and friendly space to access free wifi, where people are welcome to linger. People with a device but reliant on pay-as-you-go or unable to afford data for connectivity can be gifted six months of free 4G data via the National Databank

Digital skills support

People looking to develop their digital skills can access support at a weekly Tuesday morning Digital Drop-in facilitated by Get Technology Together, a Leeds CIC helping individuals gain expertise, practical skills and confidence in technology.

Access to equipment

Those without the right digital equipment for them can use laptops at the Digital Drop-in. Tablets in fixed stands will soon be available to use in the Feel Good Cafe, supported by funding from Clarion Housing. Staff will be able to remove the tablets from the stands to use with groups meeting in the building.

Creative approaches to digital engagement

An exciting new project facilitated by Space2 and funded by Clarion will see the Old Fire Station harnessing its heritage to encourage those lacking confidence and motivation to take their first steps with digital. Space2 will work with The Old Fire Station’s Heritage Group to record the stories of ex-fire fighters who used to work in the building when it was a working fire station. The recorded audio and video will be used to create an oral history trail throughout the building, accessible via a series of QR codes. 

“It’s a sort of stealth approach to digital inclusion. The heritage group are all ex-fire fighters, they have the technology, but they’re not using it. Working with people to be able to create QR codes will be out of their comfort zone. But what they’re excited to do is to tell the stories they have about the building. We know that using technology in doing that is going to give them so many more skills on their phones and the confidence to do more with digital.”

Fran Etherington, Development Manager at The Old Fire Station

The rich heritage of the Old Fire Station is showcased and celebrated in the design and decoration of the building and their community engagement programme. The venue hosts a number of annual heritage events that engage large numbers of the local community across all ages, including a Fire Engine Day and Heritage Weekend, both of which are supported by the Heritage Group. The oral history trail will enhance this and the aim is that the Heritage Group will help to engage people with the resource, supporting them to use the QR codes and signposting them to the digital inclusion support available across the building.

Becoming a Digital Health Hub

The Old Fire Station started its digital inclusion journey by attending a series of workshops aimed at supporting organisations to become Digital Health Hubs. Digital Health Hubs are dedicated community organisations and locations with trusted people on hand to help their service users overcome barriers to digital inclusion so that they can access relevant information and tools to improve their health and wellbeing.

“People tell us they feel safe in the building. They don’t feel like they’re going to the council or coming to a Job Centre. And they’re not. They’re just coming into a nice, friendly space but, because there are so many charities in the building, the chances are there is someone who can help them in the building, or they know someone who can.”

Fran Etherington, Development Manager at The Old Fire Station

This was part of the development of a community-based approach to support digital inclusion for improved digital health participation, led by 100% Digital Leeds in partnership with Local Care Partnerships (LCP). The approach was developed with Beeston and Middleton LCP and tested with York Road LCP, which has seen the development of 27 Digital Health Hubs in Leeds to date.

Join the first development wave

The approach will be rolled-out across the city in an ambitious 18-24 month plan. The staged implementation plan will start in late October 2022 with the support of over £200,000 in Health Inequalities funding which will increase third sector capacity for supporting digital inclusion.

Implementation will happen in a series of waves, the first of which will take part with Central, HATCH, Woodsley & Holt Park, and Morley Local Care Partnerships. For an invitation to the kick-off meeting taking place on 22nd October contact lcht.lcpdevelopment@nhs.net

LGA Pathfinder Workshop Four

Leeds is one of nine councils awarded funding as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) Digital Pathfinders Programme, designed to support councils seeking to innovate and develop pioneering initiatives to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security. 100% Digital Leeds has been funded to develop a Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion. Interested parties can follow our progress on the project Miro board. The completed model will be published and launched in December this year.

Workshop four: Measuring and demonstrating success

This final workshop in the series built upon the content of the previous workshops. In those sessions we looked at: exploring the digital inclusion barriers faced by a particular community and potential solutions to overcome them, and turning those identified solutions into an action plan.

We were joined by representatives from Coventry and East Riding of Yorkshire. These partners, alongside Plymouth, West Berkshire, and London Borough of Bexley, are working with us to sense-check the model. They are helping us to ensure the content is useful for local authorities with a different geographical or demographic make-up to Leeds, and councils at different points in their digital inclusion journey.

Stage four content 

Unlike previous stages which have followed a clearer ‘step-by-step’ format, stage four of the model – measuring and demonstrating success – raises the following issues to consider when thinking about evaluation across the approach as a whole:

  1. Why we evaluate and what we do with the results
  2. Common issues faced by those looking to understand the impact of digital inclusion interventions 
  3. Thinking about outcomes at different levels
  4. What we measure and report at 100% Digital Leeds 
  5. How we gather the information
  6. How we share our outcomes to further our work

Thoughts and feedback 

The workshops are an opportunity for local authorities with different geography, demographics, and challenges to sense-check the model and assess how applicable it is to their situation. 

One challenge common to all of the authorities present is the need to demonstrate the value of digital inclusion interventions. It was reflected that the requested focus is often on KPIs that adopt a binary definition of digital inclusion/exclusion, which are incompatible with the complex and multifaceted challenges faced by those working to increase digital inclusion. Similarly, established return on investment models are based around channel shift, an issue which is affected by factors other than digital inclusion. 

“Tying the business case for digital inclusion to numbers can cause problems when it comes to evaluating and being requested to provide specific figures.”

Workshop attendee

The model addresses this by moving away from trying to measure levels of digital inclusion, or the idea of people ’being digitally included’ as an outcome in itself, instead framing digital inclusion as an enabler to other behaviours that lead to positive outcomes.

Attendees fed back that refocusing in this way also allows the issue to be discussed through different lenses to resonate with different audiences, helping them to more easily engage partners with the digital inclusion agenda.

Similarly, partnering authorities report that using a model that is proven and established helps with engagement and leads to them having more successful conversations, especially when working with a community that is new to them.

“It’s been really impactful. Having the model to follow gives partners more faith in us.”

Workshop attendee

Having begun to implement parts of the model, the overwhelming feedback from partnering authorities who are earlier in their digital inclusion development journey is: having an established model to follow, written by a team that is recognised and respected for the efficacy of their programme, has helped them to work more efficiently and see positive outcomes more quickly.

“The model is very useful when you’re starting out and other authorities will really benefit. Having the model has cut huge chunks of time out of the process for us”.

Workshop attendee

Next steps

Now that the content sense-check is complete the 100% Digital Leeds team will write the final draft of the model and this will be shared with partners for review. A final summative evaluation workshop will take place in November prior to the launch of the final finished model in December.

AbilityNet visits Leeds to promote awareness of accessible technology among the learning disability sector

On Thursday 8th September 2022 Alex Barker from AbilityNet visited Leeds to share his insights on how digital tools and resources can support accessibility for people with disabilities.

As someone who uses assistive technology in his daily life Alex can relate to people who face challenges when it comes to using digital equipment. He has over twenty years of experience working with AbilityNet and is passionate about how digital tools can enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Alex shared his own experiences of how assistive technologies have enabled him to study and to flourish in his career. 

“This will be so useful for our members.”

Staff member, People Matters

Assistive Technology Training

Alex explained that assistive technologies do not have to be expensive or complicated to use. He showcased some amazing apps which can be downloaded for free and described some accessibility features that are embedded within most digital devices. He explained how relatively cheap and simple hardware like a rollerball mouse or a compact keyboard can make a huge difference to a person with a disability. 

Some of Alex’s top accessible resources and tips

  • Be My Eyes is a free app which connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
  • Clarospeak is a free reading and writing app with high-quality text-to-speech function. It can be incredibly helpful for people with low literacy skills.
  • Filter Keys is a Microsoft Accessibility option that you can use to control the keyboard’s Repeat rate and ignore repeated keys. Apple has its own version called Slow Keys. This can be incredibly helpful for people who find it hard to hold down multiple keys.
  • My Computer, My Way guides offer step-by-step instructions on how to adapt your phone, computer, or tablet to meet an individual’s needs. You can search for a specific need (e.g. making text larger) or filter the guides based on your symptoms (e.g. hand tremor) or condition (e.g. dyslexia).
  • Virtual Assistants like Siri and Google Assistant allow people to send a text message, set reminders, and even control home appliances using only their voice. These functions can allow people with disabilities to perform simple daily tasks without support.

“This information could be life-changing.”

Staff at the HALO Project, Hamara

Autism and Learning Disabilities Digital Inclusion Network

100% Digital Leeds made the opportunity available to members of the Autism and Learning Disabilities Digital Inclusion Network (ALaDDIN) and, as a result, staff at People Matters, Pyramid of Arts, and Hamara’s HALO Project were able to benefit from Alex’s wealth of knowledge.

ALaDDIN is a network where organisations working in Leeds to support people with learning disabilities and autism meet to share best practice, identify solutions to common barriers, and discuss opportunities to strengthen digital inclusion infrastructure, such as funding and partnership working. The network meets once a month and is supported by a consultation group of people with learning disabilities who inform the discussions.

If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available through ALaDDIN please contact nicky@pyramid.org.uk.

AbilityNet

Alex was also interviewed by members of the Employment Project Grant team at Pyramid.  This is a team of people with learning disabilities who are working on a film to show employers how they can make their workplaces more inclusive. Alex explained how AbilityNet can work with employers to make adaptations which can help disabled people to thrive in the workplace. 

AbilityNet is a pioneering and well-established UK charity that believes the power of digital technology should be available to everyone, regardless of ability or age. The organisation offers free tech support and information for disabled and older people and their website contains a wealth of accessible fact sheets, webinars, and how-to guides. AbilityNet has a team of helpful volunteers citywide who can visit people in their own homes to advise and support them to set up and use the digital tools required to meet their individual needs. 

If you are interested in speaking to AbilityNet about the support on offer to people with disabilities, you can contact them at enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk.

Increasing opportunities for prisoners to engage with digital outside of the classroom: a case study from HMP Wealstun

Having digital skills, connectivity, confidence, and motivation means prison leavers are better able to succeed in the areas of their lives that make people less likely to reoffend such as finding secure housing, accessing work, and building positive support networks.

100% Digital Leeds is leading a project, in partnership with HMP Wealstun and others, to tackle digital exclusion for prisons, prisoners, and prison-leavers.

Digital inclusion to support the reduction of reoffending

Taking a community and strengths based approach 100% Digital Leeds is working with partners already supporting prisoners, prison leavers, and ex-offenders to embed digital inclusion support into their existing services. 

The project is split in to 3 key strands:

  • Improving in-prison support for improved digital skills, confidence, and motivation for prisoners
  • Improving the transition between internal and external support for prison leavers
  • Improving community digital inclusion support for ex-offenders

Improving in-prison support for improved digital skills, confidence, and motivation for prisoners

Due to strict legislation around access to digital devices and connectivity, in many prisons the only real opportunity for prisoners to engage with digital is in an IT learning suite as part of a formal educational environment. Engaging with learning and education is ‘opt in’ and only a fraction of prisoners go down this route during their time in prison. Offering more opportunities to engage with digital outside of a classroom environment allows more prisoners to develop their digital skills and confidence in an environment in which they feel comfortable, and in a context that feels more relevant to their lives.

Expanding access to digital in workshop settings at HMP Wealstun

Mark Acaster from HMP Wealstun has implemented a digital inclusion pilot in the sewing machine repair workshop at the prison. Giving prisoners the opportunity to engage with digital outside of a formal education setting has been effective in building their confidence and improving their transferable digital skills. 

“I have really enjoyed improving my IT skills as I know they are going to help me upon release.”

Prisoner in the sewing machine workshop, HMP Wealstun

With support from 100% Digital Leeds Mark has secured new equipment, modernised the stock control system, and opened up more opportunities for prisoners to engage with digital software and hardware.

Introducing more opportunities for prisoners to positively engage with digital 

Mark has made several changes to processes within the workshop that allows prisoners more opportunity to engage with digital in a way that is positive and demonstrates the value of digital tools and resources:

  • Updating software from Windows XP, for which updates had been discontinued, to Windows 10 and Office Suite 2021, allowing prisoners to develop their skills using up to date software  
  • Giving prisoners access to sewing machine parts books in PDF format as an alternative to paper catalogues and demonstrating advanced search functions and ability to zoom in to technical drawings as benefits to using the digital version
  • Moving ‘Progress In Workshop’ self-appraisal reports from paper to MS Word and supporting prisoners to complete themselves
  • Teaching prisoners practical keyboard skills that make their work easier such as commonly used keyboard shortcuts 
  • Actively looking for more opportunities to give workers the chance to interact with computing, such as designing workshop signage

The benefits of integrating digital into a work environment

Introducing better and more frequent opportunities to engage with digital in the workshop has benefited prisoners working in the sewing machine workshop: 

  • Prisoners are given the opportunity to engage with digital
  • Prisoners are learning transferable skills which will give them a better chance of securing employment upon release, and ease the transition into work
  • Prisoners are engaged and enjoy having more opportunities to develop their digital skills
  • Prisoners are showing improved digital confidence 
  • Aided by improved IT systems and infrastructure prisoners are able to work more efficiently

Daniel: prisoner case study

When Daniel arrived in the sewing machine workshop he had never used a computer and was very nervous around digital. He has not engaged with any formal IT learning and was not interested in doing so. Being more comfortable in a work environment, Daniel started down a mechanical path repairing sewing machines. He later found he had more of an aptitude for the monitoring and recording side of the workshop which saw him being introduced to using more of the digital systems and processes. 

Daniel has learned a lot of transferable digital skills, starting with the basics such as using a mouse and keyboard but soon progressing to more advanced office admin tasks such as:

  • Booting up and shutting down a computer
  • Saving files in different formats such as PDF
  • Inputting and interpreting data
  • Creating jobs and logging stock 
  • Using workflows
  • Using Word and Excel

“I was very nervous about ICT when I came in but it has exceeded my expectations and I’ve learned a lot. I wouldn’t have used computers naturally but I enjoy the work that I do now and have found a niche. It’s great because it’s what I’m supposed to know on the outside. Things that seemed too complicated are more simple for me now and I’m able to help others.” 

Daniel, HMP Wealstun

Daniel has developed so much that he is now able to independently problem solve and troubleshoot simple IT issues. His newfound confidence has seen Daniel become a Peer Support Mentor within HMP Wealstun, a role where other prisoners are able to come to him for advice and he can be a positive model of the benefits of digital inclusion. 

Next Steps

100% Digital Leeds will work with HMP Wealstun to explore further opportunities to embed digital within prisoner work environments. We will deliver a digital inclusion awareness workshop with staff to further understand the digital inclusion needs of this prisoner cohort and the capacity of workshops to introduce digital into their systems and processes in a way that opens up digital access to more prisoners.

Arts in Care Homes Day digital arts programme

Arts in Care Homes Day is an annual event championing, promoting, and encouraging arts engagement in care settings and highlighting the health and wellbeing benefits for all involved. In celebration of Arts in Care Homes Day 2022 the Arts and Culture Digital Inclusion Network has developed an engaging programme of creative workshops open to care providers in Leeds, free of charge.

The programme includes a range of art forms and cultural activities, such as dance, embroidery, music, and local history (there’s even a virtual canal boat ride!), and sessions are suitable to the needs of people being cared for, such as older people, people living with dementia, and people with learning disabilities.

We can help you with the digital bit

While the timetable does include some face-to-face sessions to be delivered in care settings, most of the sessions are delivered remotely via Zoom so multiple care settings can join in at the same time.

Each session description includes details of tech requirements. Anything in brackets isn’t essential but ‘nice to have’. For example, for sessions saying ‘(camera)’, participants can be on camera if your setting has access to a camera, the participants are comfortable being on camera, and your care setting has the relevant permissions, but being on camera isn’t essential to participating.

Most sessions require only a screen and speakers so where residents are joining in as a group the session could be played through a TV. If a resident is joining the session solo they could use a laptop, iPad, or other tablet. Contact 100% Digital Leeds if your care setting needs support.

Timetable of activities

View as timetable (GoogleDoc)

Monday 26th September

10:00am Sports Roundup with AspireCBS

A rundown of all last week’s sport and a chance to connect with and chat to other sports fans. Please note, this session will be recorded and shared on the AspireCBS website but attendees who do not want to appear in any recording are free to keep their camera off.

AspireCBS provides day services, supported living services, respite, and crisis services to adults with a learning disability and their family carers.

Audience: Adults with learning disabilities

Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers, microphone (camera)

11:00am Be a virtual canal boat skipper with Canal Connections

Members of Canal Connections will be filming a trip along the beautiful Leeds Waterways. Participants will have the chance to communicate with the staff and the skippers and to ask them to take photographs.

Canal Connections explores the opportunities for social regeneration presented through the waterways and its environs by the innovative engagement of individuals, families, communities, and organisations whilst enhancing the built and natural heritage of that environment.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 120 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers, keyboard (camera)

1.15pm Lunchtime Organ Concert with Leeds International Concert Season

An organ recital by Phoebe Tak Man Chow live from Leeds Cathedral. Trained at the Royal College of Music and having held church and cathedral positions in the UK and Ireland, Phoebe is currently Director of Music at All Saints, Orpington, and organ scholar at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The concert will feature: JS Bach – Prelude & Fugue in D, BWV532; Roger Wibberley – Ubi Caritas; René Becker – Sonata No 1: Praeludium Festivum; Prayer; Toccata; Josef Rheinberger – Sonata No 8.

Leeds International Concert Season presents around 200 concerts each year, featuring orchestra, chamber music, brass bands, two series of free lunchtime concerts, and a series of free brass band concerts in parks in the summer.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 50 minutes

Format: Live concert, delivered remotely via YouTube

Equipment: Speakers (screen)

Booking: No need to book in advance. The YouTube link will appear on the event page on the day of the concert. For support email music@leeds.gov.uk

1:30pm Move it to Music with AspireCBS

A fun and energetic fitness class to lively music. The session can be adapted to all ability levels and attendees can remain seated throughout if preferred. The playlist is chosen by attendees so feel free to email some song suggestions when booking. Please note, this session will be recorded and shared on the AspireCBS website but attendees who do not want to appear in any recording are free to keep their camera off.

AspireCBS provides day services, supported living services, respite, and crisis services to adults with a learning disability and their family carers.

Audience: Adults with learning disabilities

Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (microphone, keyboard)

Tuesday 27th September

11:00am Reminiscing Records with Leeds Libraries

Reminisce your favourite songs and musicians over the years through our fun, inclusive and mindful musical session. Residents will be able to part take in this musical quiz as they listen and sing along to some live much-loved classics sung by one of our musical librarians. The session is inclusive and interactive, giving participants the opportunity to remember their favourite music throughout the decades in a safe and familiar environment as well as listen to live music online.

Leeds Libraries delivers a wide range of leisure, cultural, learning and information services. The library service offers safe, welcoming free and accessible spaces where people can meet, engage, interact, learn, and develop.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 60 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers, keyboard (camera)

11:00am Neuro Dance with Ascendance

An energy-boosting, medium intensity workout that infuses specific exercises for the body and mind with the playfulness of dance. Come as you are, and dive into an inclusive dance community. This class blends 30 minutes of dance cardio with 15 minutes of choreography to upbeat music from around the world.

Ascendance is a charity organisation working in the Dance for Health sector, delivering outstanding participatory programmes, performances & films, based in Leeds, UK.

Audience: Care residents with Parkinson’s, MS, and other neurological conditions

Duration: 45 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (microphone, keyboard)

Booking: Email classes@ascendance.org.uk

Get a feel for the workshop content by watching this captivating insight into Ascendance’s ‘Dance with Parkinson’s’ community.

2:00pm Hidden Cinemas with Hyde Park Picture House

This talk will encourage people to remember their own favourite cinemas and share their experiences of cinema from years gone by. From much loved local fleapits to the ‘super cinemas’ of the 1920s and 30s, Laura’s illustrated talk will take you on a tour of some of Leeds’ best hidden cinema treasures, using photographs to tell their stories. Before the era of the multiplex cinema began, Leeds used to have many different and unique cinemas. Most of them have now closed for good, but some went on to become bingo halls, tile warehouses, flats, hotels, and even fish and chip shops! Of course, not all of the old cinemas in Leeds have closed their doors. The Hyde Park Picture House, built in 1914, still remains an active part of the city’s film scene. You can also find out more about each cinema we cover in our talk by using our online Leeds cinemas map, www.lostcinemas.co.uk

Established in 1914, the Hyde Park Picture House is one of the UK’s oldest cinemas. Known affectionately as the ‘cosiest cinema in Leeds’, the Picture House screens the very best independent, documentary and artist films from around the world. Their Grade 2 listed building has been closed for a while for some repairs, but will be opening soon with a brand new second screen and new accessible facilities. While they’re getting ready to open, they would like to share our remarkable story with as many people as possible.

Audience: Older people, people living with dementia

Duration: 40 minutes, plus additional time for comments

Format: Live talk, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (microphone, keyboard)

Booking: Via Eventbrite

Wednesday 28th September

10:15am The Aspire Entertainers with AspireCBS

A celebration of musical theatre, this weekly session includes learning ‘step-by-step’ dance routines to songs from hit musicals and virtual trips to the theatre. Previous sessions have included virtual trips to West End Live, Disneyworld, and an Elton John concert. The session content is led by the regular participants so varies from week to week. Take pot luck or contact Rebecca for more specific details in the week before this session takes place. Please note, this session will be recorded and shared on the AspireCBS website but attendees who do not want to appear in any recording are free to keep their camera off.

AspireCBS provides day services, supported living services, respite, and crisis services to adults with a learning disability and their family carers.

Audience: Adults with learning disabilities 

Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (microphone, keyboard)

1:30pm Rock & Roll Bingo ‘70’s Hits’ Edition with AspireCBS

Bingo but with music! Attendees have 16 songs on their bingo card. Listen out for your songs and when you have a full house, unmute yourself and shout BINGO as loud as you can. Please download and print your bingo cards.

AspireCBS provides day services, supported living services, respite, and crisis services to adults with a learning disability and their family carers.

Audience: Adults with learning disabilities

Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers, microphone

3:00pm Discover La Traviata with Opera North

This online session will introduce you to Puccini’s famous opera ‘La Traviata’ and take you on a journey through the ballrooms of high society in Paris. Led by vocal animateur Marie Claire Breen, this will be a friendly space to learn, sing, have fun, and meet people. If possible, it would be ideal to set the room in a semi-circle and for participants to have some space to move. Care settings may want to provide participants with a party drink, such as a plastic champagne flute of something fizzy, as we’ll be throwing a party just like the opening scene.

Opera North is a national opera company based in Leeds, and is a leading UK arts organisation. Rooted in the North of England, international in outlook, we create extraordinary experiences every day. Opera North believes opera and music is for everyone, and champions diversity in artists, repertoire, and audiences. Opera North Education connects with communities and inspires each generation, aiming to enhance the health and well-being of people in the communities where we work through arts participation and performance.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 40-50 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (camera, keyboard)

Booking: Booking link

Preparation in advance: Why not dress up for the occasion? Participants could make a bow out of paper to wear in their hair or as a bow tie. Participants could listen to recordings of famous songs from La Traviata ahead of the workshop.

Make a bow-tie in preparation for the workshop

Listen to recordings of famous songs from La Traviata ahead of the workshop.

Thursday 29th September

11:00am Live Music Now 

Live Music Now present a live participatory performance featuring Leeds musician Simon Robinson. Join Simon as he plays a wide repertoire of traditional music, ranging from American mountain songs and Old Time Banjo tunes, Blues songs, chants and spirituals, through to British folk songs and sea shanties. He is passionate about facilitating music making in all different settings, and loves a good sing-a-long! 

Live Music Now fosters musical lives. You can find their musicians in care homes, schools, healthcare and community settings across the region. Their world-class musicians connect with people experiencing social exclusion or disadvantage, working together to create engaging, interactive live music sessions that meaningfully enhance health and well-being.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 60 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (camera, keyboard)

Booking: Email deborah.welch@livemusicnow.org.uk

Get a feel for the workshop by watching this video from musician, Simon Robinson, who will be hosting the session

1:30pm Rock & Roll Bingo ‘Players Picks’ Edition with AspireCBS

Bingo but with music! Attendees have 16 songs on their bingo card. Listen out for your songs and when you have a full house, unmute yourself and shout BINGO as loud as you can. Please download and print your bingo cards.

AspireCBS provides day services, supported living services, respite, and crisis services to adults with a learning disability and their family carers.

Audience: Adults with learning disabilities

Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers, microphone (camera)

Start time agreed at booking: Magical Mushroom, Autumn Bunting Party! Embroidery with Leeds Libraries

Discover the Botanical Treasures of Leeds Libraries Special Collection by using iPads to explore stunning rare hand-coloured illustrations of mushrooms and fungi from the eighteenth century. Participants will be able to select an image from the special collections to transfer to a pre-cut flag and decorate using embroidery, trimmings, buttons, and other fabrics and materials. When finished, the flags will be assembled to create a collaborative textile art work for the venue to display and keep. The session is colourful, visual, and tactile with fabrics and ribbons to select, hold, and manipulate. It can be adapted to any abilities with people having the opportunity to sew if they wish or assemble and have the facilitator complete.

The Art Library in Leeds Central Library is the largest and most comprehensive specialist public Art Library in the North of England. Discover a world of creativity in the iconic Art Library, established in 1956.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Face-to-face session delivered in the care setting

Equipment: No digital equipment needed

Booking: Email emma.hayton@leeds.gov.uk to arrange session

Friday 30th September

10:30am Mindfulness Stories with Artlink

Participants will take part in a gentle movement and storytelling workshop, with moments of music, games, and playfulness. Participants will assist the practitioner in adding details to stories, finding actions, expressions, and movements to bring different tales to life. The session will be led by the participants’ interests and ability. If you happen to have any percussion instruments please bring them along and join in!

Artlink West Yorkshire is an arts and health charity working with diverse communities in Leeds.  Working in a therapeutic and rehabilitative capacity, we have a strong focus on positive mental health and independent living through high quality arts activity delivered by our team of creative facilitators.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 60 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (camera, microphone, keyboard)

Booking: Email hayley@artlinkwestyorks.org

11:00am Inclusive dance for over 50’s with Sense

Join dance artist Rachel for an upbeat dance session. Sense Art’s dance sessions are for everyone, and whether you prefer to dance seated or standing, options will be given for both. No experience is needed, these sessions are all about having some fun. 

Sense is a national disability charity. They believe everyone should be able to take part in life, no matter their disability.

Audience: Older people

Duration: 45 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (camera, keyboard, microphone)

2:00pm Active Communities with RJC Dance 

A dance class designed for older adults to get moving, enjoy light exercise, and take part in some dancing. Janetta Maxwell takes each session, bringing music that gets toes tapping and faces smiling. The session can be adapted to all ability levels and attendees can remain seated throughout if preferred.

RJC Dance is the leading inclusive Black dance organisation in the North empowering children, young people, and adults through dance, movement and exercise.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 60 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (camera, microphone, keyboard)

Booking: Email stef@rjcdance.org.uk

Get a feel for the workshop by watching this video showcasing a previous project with the same group at RJC Dance

3:00pm Connecting Stars: Autumn Leaves with Constella OperaBallet

Connecting Stars is an interactive collaborative concert between musicians and ballet dancers.

Constella are the world’s only company dedicated to opera-ballet and create cutting-edge, interdisciplinary performances for today’s audience. Founded by the award-winning composer and conductor Leo Geyer, Constella brings together pioneering musicians, dancers, visual artists, historians, garden designers, architects, poets, and costume-makers.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 45 minutes

Format: Live workshop, delivered remotely via Zoom

Equipment: Screen, speakers (camera)

Booking: Email info@constella.org.uk

Get a feel for the workshop by watching this preview from Constella

Anytime

Echome: make music through your movement

Imagine you could play the sound of a piano with a simple movement of your hand? Or the sound of a cello with your knee? Imagine you could create any sound you like – birdsong, sea waves, children laughing – with any part of your body you feel like moving. Welcome to echome! An accessible and intuitive technology that allows you to create any sound with any part of your body. The session will involve a set of simple activities that can be tailored to the participants’ needs and preferences and involve the creation of music and sound out of their movement. The technology involves a set of light wearable sensors that can be worn anywhere on the body and a simple computer interface. Participants can move individually, in pairs, or small groups, and the movement can be as small or as big as they choose. They will be able to select from a variety of music and sounds and work with the ones that appeal to their tastes and/or personal memories. The session aims to make movement fun, facilitate deep listening, and offer opportunities for collaboration between two or more participants. 

echome has been developed by academic researchers at the University of Leeds and arts practitioners in collaboration with end users. A recent pilot project with older people suffering from arthritis proved that echome encourages physical activity, offers opportunity for creative expression, and enables sociality and collaboration. As one of the participants said ‘it is as if the music bribes you into doing more than you would normally’. 

Audiences: Older people, people with learning disabilities, working age adults

Duration: 60 – 90 minutes

Format: Face-to-face workshop delivered at the care facility

Equipment: none

Booking: via Eventbrite. Time and date will be arranged at booking.

Wellbeing Workshop with Northern Ballet

This 30 minute digital dance workshop uses Northern Ballet productions to inspire gentle movement activity which can be accessed either standing, or whilst sitting down. There are two dance teachers leading the session, one is demonstrating from a standing position, the other from a seated position, so there is always someone to copy. The session covers the basics of good posture, and a safe warm up using ‘plies’ to various dance segments from Northern Ballet productions such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. To top it off, the session is accompanied by a live musician from Northern Ballet’s sinfonia. The session is pre-recorded, so you can pause, rewind, and repeat as you wish.

As the UK’s widest-touring dance company, Northern Ballet aims to share exceptional ballet with a diverse audience and create opportunities for everyone to be inspired by dance. Their Academy and Learning programmes enable people of all ages, means, and abilities to take part in dance activities, developing and nurturing emerging creative talent, training exceptional young dancers, and providing world-class dance facilities at our home in Leeds. They deliver outreach activities in the regional community and across our tours for people with limited access to the arts.

Audience: Anyone receiving care from a care provider

Duration: 30 minutes

Format: Pre-recorded workshop via YouTube

Equipment: Screen, speakers

Booking: View the workshop anytime, no need to book. If you would be interested in partnering with Northern Ballet in the future email learning@northernballet.com

Pre-recorded Wellbeing Workshop from Northern Ballet

Write an original song with Swan Song Project

Swan Song believe a song can live forever, carrying precious memories and providing comfort and joy to listeners. Their songwriters support anyone approaching the end of their life or dealing with a bereavement to write a song, helping with every stage of the process, from finding initial ideas to finishing a recording. The song-writing process can be deeply therapeutic as well as being a lot of fun.

The Swan Song Project gives people planning the end stages of their lives and those surrounding them the opportunity to write and record their own original song. A professional songwriter provides support to guide each person, through finding the initial idea to the completed recording. No previous musical experience or abilities are required.

Audience: Anyone approaching the end of their life or dealing with a bereavement

Duration: Various

Format: Workshops, face-to-face in the care setting or via Zoom

Find out more about Swan Song Project

Purple Patch Arts Daily Activities

While their live programmes were closed due to Covid Purple Patch Arts posted daily activities on their website, in line with weekly themes like storytelling, poetry, and murder mystery. The activities use resources that you should be able to find in a care setting.

Since 2009, Purple Patch Arts has existed to provide innovative and inclusive creative learning opportunities that improve the lives of adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults by expanding their understanding of, and engagement with, the world.

Audience: People with learning disabilities

Duration: Varies session to session

Format: Collections of resources in a variety of formats

Marks In Time with Marks and Spencer

Marks In Time includes lots of free online resources including pre-recorded talks, a virtual tour of their exhibition, fun resources for wine tasting, and a sheet music activity pack. They also offer free loan of Memory Boxes containing original clothing and accessories that can be used as memory prompts and to stimulate conversation.

The M&S Company Archive enables Marks & Spencer to celebrate and utilise its rich heritage for the good of the business, its customers, and the wider community. The Archive preserves, develops and facilitates access to its unique collection and delivers a dynamic programme of public engagement, using the collection to support and inspire the community.

Sharing learning and outcomes

We will close the week with a webinar as part of Leeds Digital Festival. ‘Creative Digital Inclusion in the Care Sector’ will be a first look at the impact of the programme and its success in supporting the arts participation and digital confidence of residents and staff at living and working in care settings. It will also be an opportunity to share best practice and look at what’s next.

Developing the programme

This project aims to support care providers to bring more arts and culture activity into their settings by engaging remotely via digital, and to develop staff digital skills and confidence. Arts and culture organisations will be supported to reach new audiences in care settings, expand their care setting offer, and form lasting partnerships with care providers.

Special thanks to the members of the cross-sector steering group who have developed this programme and, of course, to the arts and culture organisations who have contributed to this amazing programme, all of whom have given their time and resource without the support of funding. You can find out more about the development of this programme on our previous blog.

100% Digital Leeds at Leeds Digital Festival

Leeds Digital Festival returns 19 – 30 September 2022 for a two-week celebration of digital culture. 100% Digital Leeds are hosting and contributing to a number of events that make up the programme. To be among the first to hear about events hosted by 100% Digital Leeds follow us on Eventbrite.

Move More and Stay Healthy Using Digital Technologies

Monday 19th September, 10:00am – 10:30am, Zoom webinar. Book via Eventbrite.

Hosted in partnership with Leeds and Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust, this webinar will showcase an exciting new development which brings together accessible apps and resources that can be used to support people with Learning Disabilities to move more and stay happy and healthy.

Developing Digital Health Hubs in Leeds

Wednesday 21st September, 12:30pm – 1.00pm, Zoom webinar. Book via Eventbrite.

100% Digital Leeds has partnered with Local Care Partnerships in Leeds to develop a community-based approach to support digital inclusion for improved health participation, with Digital Health Hubs at the heart of the implementation model. Hosted in partnership with Local Care Partnerships, this webinar is an opportunity to find out more about the model and plans for city-wide implementation, including how partners from across all sectors can get involved. 

Digital Inclusion Supporting Older People: Transport Connections

Thursday 22nd September, 10:00am – 11:00am, Zoom webinar. Book via Eventbrite.

The 100% Digital Leeds and Leeds Older People’s Forum ‘Transport Connections’ project will explore how utilising bus and taxi apps can best support older people to access transport in the city, combatting social isolation by increasing access to health services and social settings. Hosted in partnership with Leeds Older People’s Forum, this webinar is an opportunity to find out more about the project and plans for increasing access for older people using transport apps.

Digital Inclusion: Age and Dementia Friendly Leeds

Tuesday 27th September, 10:00am – 11:00am, Zoom webinar. Book via Eventbrite.

100% Digital Leeds has partnered with Leeds Older People’s Forum to develop the Older People’s Digital Inclusion Network, bringing together over 40 organisations to share best practice, foster partnerships, and understand the most inclusive approaches to supporting older people with digital. Hosted in partnership with Leeds Older People’s Forum, this webinar is an opportunity to find out more about the impact of the network and how digital has made a difference to older people’s lives.

Positive Changes – Virtual “How To” Guides!

Wednesday 28th September, 12.00pm – 12.30pm, Zoom webinar. Book via Eventbrite.

Positive Changes is a group of volunteers with learning disabilities who discuss how they can make life better for people in Leeds. The group is working with Mencap to coproduce videos which teach people different skills and show them activities which can help them to stay healthy and happy. Hosted in partnership with Mencap, this webinar will be an opportunity to hear from Positive Changes members about the project and watch some of the videos they have made.

Online and Feeling Fine: Mindful UX/UI for Better Mental Health

Thursday 29th September, 10:00am – 11:00am, online. Book via Eventbrite.

Hosted in partnership with Mindwell, this panel discussion will see third sector, research and UX/UI industry leaders explore how mindful UX/UI design can help create safer, more inclusive digital spaces that support better mental health.

Community and Third Sector Needs From Digital Transformation: A Panel Discussion

Thursday 29th September, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, online. Book via Eventbrite.

Hosted by Forum Central, this workshop will provide a summary of what Forum Central, Voluntary Action Leeds and Third Sector Leeds, as key advocates for the sector, feel are the third sector’s needs around digital transformation, in line with what the sector has fed into the strategy to date. 100% Digital Leeds will be part of the expert panel.

Creative Digital Inclusion in the Care Sector

Friday 30th September, 12.30pm – 1.00pm, Zoom webinar. Book via Eventbrite.

This webinar will explore how arts and culture programming can support improved digital skills, confidence, and capability in care homes and other care settings. The webinar will be a first look at the impact of the Leeds Arts In Care Homes Day programme and its success in supporting the arts participation and digital confidence of residents and staff living and working in care settings.

LGA Pathfinder Workshop Three

Leeds is one of nine councils awarded funding as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) Digital Pathfinders Programme, designed to support councils seeking to innovate and develop pioneering initiatives to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security. 100% Digital Leeds have been funded to develop a Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion, and run a series of related workshops with five councils selected by LGA. Interested parties can follow our progress on the project Miro board. The completed model will be published and launched in December this year.

Workshop three: Forming and implementing a plan

The third workshop in the series of four broke down stage three of the community-based model. This session built upon work done in the previous workshops – exploring the digital inclusion barriers faced by a particular community, and potential solutions to overcome them – and focused on turning those identified solutions into an action plan.

We were joined by representatives from Coventry, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Plymouth, councils. These partners, alongside West Berkshire and London Borough of Bexley, are working with us to sense-check the model, ensuring the content is useful for Local Authorities with a different geographical or demographic make up to Leeds, and councils at different points in their digital inclusion journey.

Stage three content and feedback

Stage three – forming and implementing a plan – contains the following steps:

  1. Moving from ideas to actions
  2. Organising actions in to staged plans
  3. Practical approaches to implementing stages

The final part of the session shared the development journey of 100% Digital Leeds’s community-based approach to support digital inclusion for improved health participation as a practical case study to bring to life the Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion.

Discussion topics included:

  • The role of Local Authorities as enablers rather than deliverers
  • Identifying and securing suitable funding to support capacity for digital inclusion, recognising digital as a key enabler
  • Making the most of partnerships to maximise resources
  • The benefits of bringing digital inclusion partners together as networks

Next steps

The fourth and final workshop will take place in September, and will be on ‘Understanding and measuring success’. Following this, the 100% Digital Leeds team will write up the model as it will appear on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit, and this will be shared with partners for review. A final summative evaluation workshop will take place in November prior to the launch of the final finished model in December.

A perspective on delivering online arts and culture activities in care settings

This is a guest blog written by Geraldine Montgomerie, Partnership Manager at The Swan Song Project. Geraldine is a member of the cross-sector steering group behind 100% Digital Leeds’s recently announced digital inclusion and arts participation programme in celebration of Arts in Care Homes Day.

“Please Come Back”: a guest blog from The Swan Song Project

This year marks the fourth Arts in Care Homes Day since it was established in 2019 – and in Leeds we have been sharing good practice every year; bringing together different care providers and arts opportunities and hearing the difference arts can make to not just care home residents, but their families and the staff who support them.

At the Swan Song Project we work with people living with terminal conditions, planning the end of their lives or dealing with bereavement and help them to write their own original songs. The people we work with value having dignity, personal control and choice over their circumstances, feeling connected to other people, taking part in interesting and pleasurable activities. Our songwriting work meets these needs, and the people we work with tell us how proud they are of their songs and how much fun they had during the process. They say that the process has helped them come to terms with their situation and helped them articulate and communicate their feelings in a way they might not otherwise have done.

We have supported people to write songs virtually, enabling us to reach people who are unable to meet us in person.

Geraldine Montgomerie

During the pandemic we have supported people to write songs virtually, enabling us to reach people who are unable to meet us in person including people living anywhere in the UK. We continue to offer a weekly online singing group where we encourage people to relax and breathe as well as learning new skills and gaining confidence in singing. We are joined by people around the world who describe the group as helping them sleep better, feel less tense and generally improving their mood.

We started our project in hospices but as Covid-19 restrictions have lifted we have begun to bring our work into care homes and work with other care providers, celebrating people’s lives, making memories and leaving legacies through making new songs.

There are almost 200 care settings in Leeds, many of which have enjoyed touring theatre productions and opera performances, live concerts and poetry, dance classes and opportunities for craft and even immersive art installations such as changing a care home lounge area into a ‘park’. The benefits of these activities can be significant – for example dance classes have been shown to reduce frailty, increase activity levels and boost wellbeing.

“Despite the range of local expertise and the best efforts of wellbeing and activity coordinators, it can be difficult to provide a daily offer of activities that suit the tastes and specific needs of people needing care.”

Geraldine Montgomerie

Despite the range of local expertise and the best efforts of wellbeing and activity coordinators, it can be difficult to provide a daily offer of activities that suit the tastes and specific needs of people needing care. With staff shortages care providers have limited resources to build relationships with local arts organisations and to finance regular high quality, interactive sessions. Covid-19 is also still presenting challenges, with care providers still closing to visitors with very little notice, so it remains a great time to share how we have learnt to offer online and remote arts activities and to adapt them to better meet people’s needs.

“We have found care settings have been really open to working with technology.”

Geraldine Montgomerie

We are always looking for ways to improve access to our work including continuing to offer online songwriting sessions and singing groups. We have found care settings have been really open to working with technology – whether joining us in online sessions to share memories we associate with key pieces of music from our lives or allowing us to visit in person and connect care home residents and hospice patients to online resources.

In partnership with 100% Digital Leeds and other arts and health organisations, we are working on an Arts in Care Homes Day programme in September 2022 to support care providers to open up opportunities to residents through a mixture of in person and online activities, overcome barriers to accessing online activities and bringing technology into care homes to enhance experiences and build confidence.

We have learned so far that there is a huge appetite to experience and engage with arts and creativity… that with every session we offer in a care setting we are urgently invited to come back.

Learn more about The Swan Song Project

Learn more about the Swan Song Project by contacting their Partnership Manager – Geraldine Montgomerie – at geraldinem@swansongproject.co.uk or visit their website.

Learn more about the digital inclusion and arts participation programme

  • Learn more about the digital inclusion and arts participation programme in celebration of Arts in Care Homes Day.
  • The programme of activities will run from Saturday 24th September to Saturday 1st October
  • The final programme will be announced towards the end of August
  • Arts and culture organisations can submit their activities for inclusion in the programme by completing this form by Monday 1st August.
  • Care providers can request support to access the programme by completing this form at any time until Saturday 1st October
  • For more information about this project or how you can support contact amy.hearn@leeds.gov.uk

Call for partners for Arts in Care Homes Day digital arts programme

100% Digital Leeds are looking for arts and culture organisations to submit activity for inclusion in digital arts and culture engagement programming aimed at Leeds care providers in celebration of Arts in Care Homes Day

We are looking to curate a week-long programme of activity taking place between Saturday 24th September (Arts in Care Homes Day) and Saturday 1st October (International Day of Older People), including free interactive workshops in art forms such as song and dance, and performances from arts organisations across the city. Care providers will engage with the programming remotely via digital platforms such as Zoom, Teams, and YouTube. The programme may also include sessions delivered in care settings, but including a digital element.

The project aims to support care providers to bring more arts and culture activity into their settings by engaging remotely via digital, and to develop staff digital skills and confidence. It is hoped that arts and culture organisations will be supported to reach new audiences in care settings, expand their care setting offer, and to form lasting partnerships with care providers.

The programme is already looking exciting, with support from key arts organisations working across the city such as Yorkshire Dance, Opera North, and Ascendance. The final timetable of events will be available for booking by care providers in late summer.

Arts and culture organisations can submit their activities for inclusion in the programme by completing this form by Monday 1st August.

Care providers can request support to access the programme by completing this form at any time until Saturday 1st October

Project background

This project has been developed by a cross-sector steering group made up of people working across the public, cultural, wellbeing, and care sectors. The project is a result of the existing partnership between the Arts and Culture Digital Inclusion Network, Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network, and Leeds Care Delivery Services, which saw development of a series of webinars bringing people together to explore how care settings can benefit from arts and culture online. Find out more about the work being done in Leeds with care settings and/or older people around arts, creativity and culture by reading the recent NAPA report, Arts and Culture in every care home?, celebrating the work of Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network and their Creative Ageing Forum.

“Care home activities for residents have been an area that has particularly benefitted from the 100% Digital Leeds support, and it is enabling them to access a range of digital and virtual activities and improving health and wellbeing outcomes. This real, practical application of digital technology with the support of the team is helping to embed digital inclusion across the care sector in Leeds, with staff becoming more familiar and comfortable using digital technology which is a key step in the preparation for the move to even wider digitisation”

Richard Graham, Commissioning Programme Leader, LCC Care Quality Commission

Project launch

We launched the project on Friday 1st July with a 30-minute webinar which outlines the project, the benefits of partnership, and how organisations can get involved. The video features speakers from 100% Digital Leeds, NAPA, Leeds Arts Health and Wellbeing Network, Pyramid, arts@leeds, and Springfield Care.

Launch webinar

We’re looking for arts and culture organisations to submit their events, activities, and performances to be included in the week-long programme. We’re looking for care providers to take up the opportunity of signing up to programme activities.

“Residents in care settings have embraced any opportunities to take part in creative and cultural opportunities. Feedback surveys indicate that people would love to have access to more activities generally and have been delighted when they have taken
part (whether through in-house support to take part in craft activities or interactive Zoom sessions with museums and galleries, libraries, dance organisations, poetry, theatre or other arts activities).”

Catherine, Leeds Care Delivery Service

How arts and culture organisations can take part in the programme

Offering activity via remote access gives arts organisations the opportunity to reach audiences who may find it difficult to access programming delivered in cultural venues due to their reliance on care, difficulty with mobility and, more recently, the need to shield during Covid. Visiting care settings to deliver workshops and performances comes with its own difficulties for arts organisations but Covid has made it near impossible. 

Taking part in this programme is an opportunity for arts and culture organisations to develop their offer and trial new approaches for audiences such as older people, people living with dementia, people with learning disabilities, people planning end of life, and people with mental health needs. It is also an opportunity to forge lasting partnerships with care providers such as care homes, day services, supported living services, recovery hubs, hospitals, and hospices.

“During the pandemic we have supported people to write songs virtually, enabling us to reach people who are unable to meet us in person including people living anywhere in the UK. We continue to offer a weekly online singing group where we encourage people to relax and breathe as well as learning new skills and gaining confidence in singing. We are joined by people around the world who describe the group as helping them sleep better, feel less tense and generally improving their mood.”

Geraldine Montgomerie, Partnership Manager, The Swan Song Project

Read our guest blog by Geraldine Montgomie from The Swan Song Project, giving a perspective on delivering online arts and culture activities in care settings.

Arts organisations are invited to complete a short expression of interest form to submit activities like workshops or streamed performances to be included in the week-long programme. Details required include a session description, date and time, booking link, and what care providers need to participate. The form will be closed on Monday 1st August.

To be included in the programme activities should take place or be accessible between 24th September and 1st October and should be accessed remotely via digital platforms such Zoom, Teams, and YouTube. We will also accept submission of sessions delivered in care settings but including a digital element, however, face-to-face sessions are at risk of cancellation due to Covid.

To keep the programme as simple for care providers to engage with as possible events must be free at the point of access. We are not able to offer financial support but are happy to support any digital inclusion related funding bids. Organisations are welcome to submit suitable events and activities from existing programming, or pre-recorded content for streaming. We welcome taster sessions designed to showcase existing or future programming, or trial work with new audiences.

Support available to arts and culture organisations 

This project has been shaped by the Arts and Culture Digital Inclusion Network and the support of 100% Digital Leeds and network members is available for artists and arts and culture organisations looking to develop their digital offer or adapt their work to be accessible and engaging for different audiences. There is a section on the expression of interest form to request support.

100% Digital Leeds will be publishing a series of blogs over the summer sharing learning and practical tips from Arts and Culture Digital Inclusion Network members and care homes on how to make digital sessions as engaging and accessible as possible. Keep a lookout for these on the 100% Digital Leeds blog.

How care providers can take part in the programme

Offering care providers such as care homes, day services, supported living, recovery hubs, hospitals, and hospices the opportunity to engage with remote arts and culture programming helps them to support the arts engagement of the people they care for and all of the wellbeing benefits that brings. The programme also provides a supportive space for staff to develop the digital skills and confidence needed to support the digital inclusion of residents and service users, opening up the use of digital tools and services to connect with family and friends, manage health and wellbeing, and live more independently.

Taking part in this programme is an opportunity for care providers to explore opportunities to bring more arts and culture into their activity programming and to form lasting partnerships with Leeds arts organisations.

The final timetable of events will be available for booking by care providers in late summer.

Care providers are invited to complete a short expression of interest form to be among the first to be notified when the timetable is released. Alternatively care providers are welcome to look out for the release of the final timetable via the 100% Digital Leeds blog.

Support available to care providers

This project has been shaped by Leeds Care Delivery Service and Springfield Care as part of 100% Digital Leeds’s work with care homes. Care providers are invited to complete a short expression of interest form to request support from 100% Digital Leeds to develop their digital inclusion offer or to engage with the Arts in Care Homes Day programme. Support could include supporting your staff to develop their digital skills and confidence, advice on equipment set up, help to dial into Zoom or Teams calls, or something similar. 100% Digital Leeds are happy to have a chat and see how we might be able to support you.

“Having the support of 100% Digital Leeds has been fantastic for our care homes.  Not only support but also encouragement and excitement to use more digital resources in creative ways, that benefit not only residents’ connections with the community and their families, but digital inclusion also for staff, with training, increasing their motivation and confidence with digital resources.  100% Digital Leeds team are always available, approachable, open to suggestions, pro-active, bringing new ideas and we look forward to continue working together developing our digital inclusion offer, which is having such a positive impact for our care homes”

Iria Cunha, Wellbeing Development Manager, Springfield Care Villages

Summary of key information

  • The programme of activities will run from Saturday 24th September to Saturday 1st October
  • The final programme will be announced towards the end of August
  • Arts and culture organisations can submit their activities for inclusion in the programme by completing this form by Monday 1st August.
  • Care providers can request support to access the programme by completing this form at any time until Saturday 1st October
  • For more information about this project or how you can support contact amy.hearn@leeds.gov.uk