Six Leeds arts organisations have been working in partnership with Leeds Older People’s Forum to address the social isolation of older people in the region as part of a six-year programme Time to Shine, funded through Big Lottery Ageing Better.
Time to Shine: Young at Arts brings together the Leeds Education Arts Forum (LEAF), including Leeds Grand Theatre & City Varieties, Northern Ballet, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Yorkshire Dance.
Since October, Yorkshire Dance, Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre have been delivering weekly taster sessions at Morley Town Hall inviting older adults to take part in various artistic activities, many for the first time in their lives.
Two other ten week programmes have be taking place across the city – one in Rothwell with sessions led by West Yorkshire Playhouse, Yorkshire Dance and Leeds Grand Theatre & City Varieties, and one in Gipton led by Northern Ballet, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Phoenix Dance Theatre.
This unique programme is still in its trial stages but if the programme proves to be a success the ambition is to roll out the programme to more regular activity over a period of ten weeks in the New Year.