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Elderly ravers enjoy care home beach party

A BEACH party at a Saltburn care home saw elderly residents painting their faces in UV colours and busting a move to thumping dance music – in a nod to Redcar’s famous Majuba beach festival.

Those living at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, waved their hands and hankies in the air as DJs from the Woven Nest Theatre put on disco lights and blasted the tunes.

beach party

The “Rave in the Waves” workshop is delivered by the North East based theatre-company for older people living with dementia, and was commissioned by Redcar, Cleveland and Middlesbrough Council as part of the Creative Health Strategy, funded by South Tees Public Health.

Designed as a multi-sensory exploration of the North East coast, the workshop included a cinnamon scented sandy beach, interactive rock pool of hidden items, and waves made from a material that emulates the frothing sea, alongside drumming and dance music.

Fourteen residents took part in the rave, run by facilitators Poppy Crawshaw and Liv Hunt, and with sound designer Elliot Mann, all from the Woven Nest Theatre.

One of those, Judith Pearson, 79, said: “I never thought I would get to tell my family I had been to a rave.”

Joyce Wooffindin, 83, said: “Can we have a rave every day?”

Ellen Else, 91, said: “I have never had so much fun.”

Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, worked closely with the Woven Nest team to design the workshop to ensure it catered to the residents’ individual needs.

She said: “After our conversations, Poppy came back to me and said they’d had this idea to create a rave. We’d never thought of this, so we asked the residents if they’d ever been to a rave before and most of them said no, but they seemed excited.

“It was so effective how Woven Nest used storytelling to move us from one section to another, and you feel like you’re being transported somewhere else, but each part was participatory, and the residents were always involved.

“Well, after the session had finished, the residents were saying they wanted to rave every day. I could hear residents telling their family members that they’d been at a rave. It just goes to show that no matter what age you are and regardless of whether you live in a care home, you can still have new experiences.”

Poppy Crawshaw, from the Woven Nest Theatre, said: “As we moved to the music, there was a genuine feeling of release and freedom. Whether residents were dancing in chairs or getting up to dance, it felt elating to move to music you don’t usually associate with care homes. I think we can all relate to shaking it out and letting go through music and movement.

“This is the first time we’ve created a rave in a care home and I’m quite overwhelmed by what a joyous experience it was. There was a moment when we were recreating the waves with a material than emulates the froth of the sea, and the residents were shrieking and laughing and lifting their feet to catch the waves. So simple but so impactful.”

August LTD
Grahame Gardner
Mr Trax Curtain & Blind Solutions
Inspired Inspirations
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