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SingAbout has something to Shout About
We are extremely delighted to announce that our popular singing for wellbeing project SingAbout secured second place at the Arts and Health South West Awards held at the Arnolfini in Bristol on 17 June.

The award praised Independent Arts' management of the group, which has allowed it to expand to reach over 300 people, through eight groups a week, held across the Island.

SingAbout is a very inclusive project, sessions are free and all are welcome. Singing has been shown to help manage various long term conditions including dementia, cancer, respiratory and coronary illnesses as well as a boost to combat depression and other mental illnesses. SingAbout makes you feel good!

Hannah Griffiths, Project Manager said:
“We were surprised and delighted to be recognised at these prestigious awards. SingAbout is changing the lives of many older people on the Isle of Wight, helping to improve their health and wellbeing and to reduce social isolation through singing. I’d like to say thank you to all the staff and volunteers who deliver the sessions. SingAbout is generously supported by a number of funders and we would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to them to.
SingAbout Pop Ups

It has been a really busy few months across all our projects and we are really seeing the benefit to our clients and service users.
SingAbout is getting more groups, over the summer we’ll be bringing our ‘Pop Up’ sessions to areas we don’t already work in. We held the first Pop Up in Yarmouth on 16th June and we had 15 singers attend all of whom want to come along again! As we go to press we’ll be popping up in Brighstone, Bembridge and Brading before the end of July.
With all these new and exciting groups popping up we have now recruited Bank Practitioners that will help to cover absences, sickness and run our 'Pop Up' sessions across the Island. We would like to wish you all a warm welcome to Independent Arts. 
All our SingAbout groups are seeing new members coming along to try it out, including some Care Homes residents. It is a great chance for them to get out and about and engage in some singing with other people outside their home. 
SingAbout took on an existing singing group at Sandown Library in May. It has taken a few weeks for us all to get to know each other but the group is now starting to really flourish with both old and new participants enjoying the singing. SingAbout is now reaching more people than ever.
Singing for Breathing:
A tuneful remedy for Respiratory Health 

Independent Arts’ Singing for Breathing sessions have now moved to St Mary’s Hospital. The sessions moved during Breathe Easy week, a national awareness event that aims to promote the British Lung Foundation and raise awareness of Breathe Easy support groups.
Funded by The Peoples Health Trust, Singing for Breathing is based on a recognised form of therapy specifically developed for individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions.
With 1 in 7 people in the UK affected by a lung condition now could be the perfect time to try our social singing group.
Each session includes physical and vocal warm up activities, the vocal production of phonic sounds, singing together and relaxation strategies. Singing for Breathing has been demonstrated to reduce anxiety about breathing difficulty and increase confidence in self-managing everyday activity and living.


Jessica Paine, Project Manager said

“There’s increasing evidence that group singing has benefits if you have a long-term lung condition and singing regularly as part of a group is great for boosting general health and wellbeing. For those that have a respiratory condition I would encourage them to come along and try our sessions. No previous musical knowledge is necessary and we cover a broad range of songs and styles to suit everyone.”


The sessions which take place on Thursdays from 11am - 1pm at the Respiratory Department Gym at St Mary’s Hospital are FREE to attend and refreshments are provided. For further information or to book a place on the programme please call Independent Arts: 01983 822437.

Keep up to date with Creative Café 

Earlier this year Independent Arts was delighted to have received a grant from The IW Foundation for Creative Café to invest in some much needed vital equipment for the group including 10 iPads which are now available for participants to use every week. Access to the iPads has really enhanced the sessions with participants using them to get to grips with online shopping, using the internet, trying out the plethora of apps available, and enjoying music and media. In May the Creative Café blog was launched with updates about the sessions along with photographs contributed by participants click here.
The aim of the Creative Café is to improve health and wellbeing by facilitating access to highly creative activities including iPads, digital photography, music, visual art and craft. It provides a supportive and welcoming environment for older people, who can come together every week, make new friends and express themselves through creative activity. If you or someone you know would like to join our friendly group, please call 01983 822437.
Action shot:  Creative Café enjoys New Age Kurling! Could you get the 10 point bullseye?
Creative Futures update

Creative Futures has moved forward with the third set of volunteers going through their training who should be ready to get out and start volunteering in mid-July. We have also been working with six new care homes, seeking referrals for the project.
Sadly, we have lost a couple of our clients one of whom was over 100! It is nice to hear that they were able to enjoy creative sessions and make new friends even in the later stages of their lives.

Creative Futures is a volunteer-led project aiming to improve the quality of life for elderly people in residential care. Our Volunteers deliver therapeutic arts sessions on a one-to-one basis to people in nursing and care homes. The project provides stimulating and engaging sessions across a wide range of activities which are personalised and tailor-made to the individual client's needs.

If you would like more information or to get involved in our Creative Futures project visit our website.  
Introducing the Anon Writers 

In February Independent Arts launched its Young Writers group for 16-24 year olds. Since the launch we have welcomed 16 young writers to the group who have been busy working on content for their blog including flash fiction, poetry and script-writing click here.
The Anon Writers are currently working on their anthology which will be published this Autumn and launched at Waterstones in Newport. The Young Writers group will also be hosting a pop up workshop at The Isle of Wight Literary Festival 2016. To keep up-to-date with news about Young Writers don’t forget to follow us on
Twitter and Facebook!
Workshop News - Featuring a Magical Door

Summer Workshops will see a lot of our practitioners teaming up with Creative Futures volunteers and taking their wealth of experience out to one-to-one sessions in care homes.  We have music, art/photography and reminiscence mentors working with volunteers across the island supporting a great Lottery funded project, and making a real difference to the most isolated residents that we are trying to reach. 
From April through to June IA music practitioners have also been celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday in care homes, and generally there’s been plenty of flag waving and bunting making going on too!  In May we had our own miniature maypole find its way out to Fairview care home where residents made May garlands too.

Creative writing has again featured in workshops. During April and May, Community Writer Ann Emery ran a series of creative writing workshops at Solent Grange (Wootton) care home where residents, families and staff alike were invited to participate in the first ‘Magic Doors’ project. All the fabulous work that was created has now been installed pride of place at Solent Granges entrance hall and one of the sitting rooms for residents, carers and family to enjoy. We are all very proud of the work produced and want to say a huge thank you to all involved.
The project was extremely well received. Activities coordinator Ali French said:

It has been a great pleasure and honour to be involved in this new project. Many of our residents have had the opportunity to share very special and meaningful memories, giving us a deeper insight into their past. Even some of our less able residents actually took part and contributed in their own way.  The display of their poems and sayings is absolutely amazing and will look fabulous in our home for all to see”
afterWARds Project Legacy

The afterWARds exhibition held in April is now featured on Independent Arts permanent virtual exhibition blog. This blog will be used as an ongoing resource for schools across the island. So if you missed the exhibition check out the blog here.
Celebrating our Volunteers

This July we are hosting a Summer Tea Party to celebrate the invaluable work our volunteers do with us. The event should be quite a show with a Mad Hatter's theme and a call for all attending to don their most spectacular hats! We have one of our practitioners supplying the music and tea and scones to enjoy. Look forward to seeing you all there.
Success for DanceMakers

DanceMakers has been an overwhelming success, launching just after Easter, the groups in Newport and Sandown are both full to capacity (with over 30 people turning up for the first session in Sandown!)  We now have short waiting lists for both Newport and Sandown. 
DanceMakers is a social activity where people get together for gentle exercise to improve co-ordination, muscle strength, balance, breathing memory and confidence. It’s fun and free and an opportunity to get out and meet people. We do still have a couple of spaces left in our Freshwater group – please see our website for further details.
Click here. or call us at our office 01983 822437.

We have a couple of fundraising drives

Window Wash the Wight - Local Business WightStream are doing a sponsored window wash on the 2nd and 3rd July to raise money for an iPad we can use in our sessions. So if you fancy having your windows washed by their directors for a donation please book a space here.
 Book by Wednesday 29th June.
Stamps – I know lots of mail is franked these days but if you have birthday cards, wedding invitations (or replies) or any other stamps dropping through your letterbox please save them and help us raise some additional funds. We are also interested in any businesses who would be interested in saving stamps for us – we can provide boxes to keep them in!

Stamps can be dropped at the IA office or sent to

Independent Arts Stamp Appeal
PO box 6107
KW16 9AB
Volunteering Opportunities

We are always looking for volunteers for our established Island-wide SingAbout project, Creative Café and Creative Futures projects. Volunteering with the charity is incredibly rewarding and full training and support is given. Most projects only require you to commit to a couple of hours each week, and we have flexibility in the schedule if you want to take time off.
Alternatively if you don't have the hours free we are also looking for help to distribute our posters around their local area. If you'd like to find out more about opportunities to get involved with Independent Arts feel free to call us for an informal chat. More information about our volunteering opportunities can also be found here.  
Copyright © 2015 Independent Arts, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Independent Arts, Suite Three, 30 Quay Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5BA
01983 822437
Registered charity number: 297474.

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