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A community arts programme for older people: an evaluation

Stickley, Theodore; Hui, Ada M.L.; Souter, Gary; Mills, Danielle

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Theodore Stickley

Ada M.L. Hui

Gary Souter

Danielle Mills



This paper presents an evaluation of a community based arts programme for older people in Nottinghamshire.


The evaluation was conducted using a combination of pre and post-initiative quantitative questionnaires and qualitative focus group interviews. This article focuses upon the findings from the focus groups.


Participants reported feeling more positively about ageing and being more motivated to pursue new opportunities at the end of the programme. Five themes emerged from the focus group interviews, namely i) age and ageing, ii)
the finished product, iii) new opportunities, iv) aspirations and the future and v) personal benefits. These related to increased confidence, having greater creative expression, meaningful occupation and opportunities for socialisation.

Social Implications

The programme was found to be successful in helping individuals feel more positive about their age, to feel more confident and motivated, to engage with others through mutual creativity, as well as to challenge negative social stereotypes of older people.


The paper will be of relevance and value to those working with older people and those with an interest in the arts. This evaluation demonstrates the diversity of the older population with older citizen’s voices being at the heart of the programme.


Stickley, T., Hui, A. M., Souter, G., & Mills, D. (2016). A community arts programme for older people: an evaluation. Mental Health and Social Inclusion, 20(1), 22-28.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 14, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2016
Publication Date Mar 14, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 26, 2017
Journal Mental Health and Social Inclusion
Print ISSN 2042-8308
Electronic ISSN 2042-8316
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 22-28
Keywords Arts; Community arts; Older people; Age; Ageing; Evaluation
Public URL
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