Our Learning and Participation Director Wendy Ellis, writes about the Fantastic for Families Awards nomination we have received and what it means for Norwich Theatre.
We are delighted that Norwich Theatre has been shortlisted for the Best Age-Friendly Cultural Organisation award. This recognises our long-held belief that creativity and creative spaces are for every one and for every moment of their lives. We are committed to ensuring our venues are age-friendly, and that we offer working environments, activities and programming which focus on promoting healthy ageing, supporting older adults to be independent, resilient and well.
We are really aware that being age-friendly is not about one thing. It is not just about what we programme, or just about being physically accessible. It is all encompassing and always changing. It runs through everything we do. From the performances and participatory activities we program, to our staff and volunteers. From our communications, to our welcoming environments. Every strand of our work embraces and celebrates life in older age.
Our age specific strand of our participatory activities includes opportunities to take part in ballet, acting and singing through our Silver Swans, Silver Stage, Silver Stage Company and our Community Choir. We also offer a Theatre Cares programme which provides creative activities for those living with dementia and those who are caring for them. We have redefined our family friendly activities to acknowledge it’s not just about parent/child and that grandparents sometimes make the best playmates! Along the way we have learnt that some of our older participants have danced, acted and sang professionally. They are extremely talented, and we welcome and celebrate their facilitation skills within our work.
Welcoming older adults into all three of our venues is an absolute delight and pleasure. There is generally a lot of laughter, some brilliant learning and magical experiences, and friendships made which bring smile and joy to us all. These older adults positively challenge their own and our perceptions of who they are and who they might be. They are creative, inspiring and wonderful to be around. There is no room for stereotypes here as we embrace their imagination, bravery and excitement to explore further.
How to Take Part
Due to the current pandemic, all three of our venues are currently closed. We have plans to re-open our Playhouse Bar and we hope to find further ways to safely engage with our audiences, participants, staff and volunteers over the forthcoming months.
We are working hard to plan a series of alternative interactions for the interim period which will provide a bridge back to our more typical programme, as venues start to open. We hope to soon be launching news of these activities in our ‘During the Interval’ programme and cannot wait to welcome back familiar and new faces alike.
Keep an eye on our website and on our Social Media pages, for the latest information about these activities.