Spring into Sound: play time for our generations

Intergenerational project tackling social isolation amongst older people through immersion in nature.

We did it!

On 25th Mar 2018 we successfully raised £1,989 with 56 supporters in 21 days

In short, this is a dream combination of generations coming together in nature to play and be curious, unleashing their inner musician and experimenting in nature.   Unite The Beat has already raised almost half of our budget with an amazingly generous grant of £2000 from Upstream Ideas. We hope you will support us in raising the rest so that we can fulfil our vision to reduce social isolation and promote well-being amongst some of our communities most isolated.

Spring into Sound is a pilot project being run by Unite The Beat and Bee in the Woods Forest school.  The vision is to create a space of play and curiosity in which socially isolated older people and preschool children can connect and engage in meaningful relationships.  The project will use the mediums of sound and nature to immerse participants in each others company, exploring and foraging for sound in Bee in the Woods community garden, Portslade.   Think splashing in puddles, rustling leaves and drumming on trees.  

In our campaign video, you will hear from Helen about why she wants to take part.  We so enjoyed meeting each other and we were touched by her comment that she had loved being filmed as no one ever takes photos of her.   A total natural on camera we are sure you will agree.  

'Every pledge will help us to ensure that a socially isolated older person or child can take part in something that is inclusive and mutually rewarding. The funds will be used to support Unite the Beat and Bee in the Woods Forest School to facilitate and manage the project so that people like Helen, who has said just by being invited she has a purpose again, can have something to look forward to.  As you will hear in the video, Helen has recently lost her best friend of 70 years and feels the project will help her move forward in life at a very difficult time.  Just imagine the difference it will have to Helen's life when she actually benefits from this collaboration!

The project will run over a period of 7 months, working with socially isolated older people identified by local Charity Time to Talk Befriending. They will enjoy a monthly workshop (from April to July) with 10 preschool-aged children, playing together in nature and experimenting with sounds as the seasons change.  We will film and record samples of sound throughout which we will then transform into a mini-documentary and music video.  This will be shown to all participants in a celebratory screening, offering renewed opportunities for contact and relationship.  The film will also serve to stimulate memory and a sense of community long after the project is finished.

The benefits of intergenerational projects have been well documented, with the first formalised intergenerational care project opening in 1976, Tokyo**.   More recently many of us have been captivated by the Channel 4 'Old Peoples Home for 4 Year Old's**' in which the impact of intergenerational care on the health and happiness of residents is explored.  Further afield, informal arrangements in which young children and older people benefit from each other's wisdom remain commonplace and in South Africa, where Unite The Beat Co-Founder Malik Tokwe is from, it is very common for 'Gogo/Granny' to be the primary caregiver whilst parents go out in search of work.  

The idea to combine these groups and immerse them in the Unite The Beat experience has always been our intention and we are excited to have met such dedicated partners immersed in their respective communities.  

As for the music, we have devised a workshop that breaks down the barriers to making music by turning our environment into an auditory playground.  Participants are encouraged to be curious, playful and to unleash their lateral thinking as they 'forage' for sound, experimenting in the abundant instruments nature has to offer.  Paired with the expertise present in the Bee In The Woods Forest School there feels no limit to the fun we can have in nature together.  Alongside running regular Forest School Sessions and Woodland Parties, Bee In The Woods provide bespoke support and training for early years settings and schools.

The main aim of the project is to capture children and older people adventuring in nature together, building sustainable relationships that will reduce isolation longer term.  We hope this will be the first of many projects we undertake as a collaboration that seeks to tackle the life-threatening issue of loneliness caused by social isolation and are immensely grateful for any support you can offer. 

Here are a few of the goodies you can enjoy in exchange for your support. 

Bee in the Woods Enamel Mug

Unite The Beat Tote Bag

Unite The Beat T-shirt's

Beautiful things A4 prints:

Vegan Cheese Making Workshop: 

Meal voucher worth £50 at Bincho Yakitori (voted Brighton's 2nd Best Restaurant)

Costs associated with Tote Bags, Enamel Mugs and T-shirts have been included in the budget and will be reclaimed.

**cited by the Guardian in their article ''It’s like being reborn': inside the care home opening its doors to toddlers'' 06.09.17

** http://www.channel4.com/programmes/old-peoples-home-for-4-year-olds

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