The SEALL@Home (or SEALL aig an Taigh in Gaelic) community outreach programme is making a real and positive difference to the emotional and physical wellbeing of the vulnerable members of our communities and those who have become socially isolated from their networks and friends.
The project was set-up in 2019 to help relieve the negative impacts of isolation and the poor health implications associated with this in the most vulnerable sectors of our communities.
In response to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, we received a small amount of funding from the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund to roll out our outreach programme to provide online music sessions to Skye’s three care homes and Kyleakin Connections, the Skye and Lochalsh Association for Disability. The service users, staff, musicians and families have all benefitted from this successful project.
Since then, we received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue this work into 2021 and beyond and we now work with a growing list of local organisations, including the local branches of Alzheimers Scotland, the Macular Society, Strath and Broadford food bank and meal delivery service users. So far, we reach over 50 people a week locally; 300 school children; and have extended the service into Shetland, Caithness, Fort William and Lewis and plan to work in care homes in Strathcarron, Strontian and Gairloch.
The project supports 12 freelance professional musicians, five young local artists and a part-time Community Arts Officer, Iseabail Strachan.
We are also proud to be selected as one of four Scottish organisations to be part of Luminate’s national pilot project working with older people to explore effective ways of delivering creative activity remotely. Led by writer Lesly Wilson, this is one of four pilot projects designed to test new ways for artists to lead work with older people remotely. The four projects will be evaluated, and a publication will be issued in spring 2021 which tells the story of each project and will share the learning that happened along the way.
We use a number of methods, including cloud-based video conferencing services and the simple telephone, to connect people to perfoming artists who provide fun and immersive concerts, workshops and sessions in music, theatre, literature and dance.
SEALL@Home is being developed to include anyone on Skye and Raasay who is isolated or in need of a little uplifting through performing arts. To this end, we are working closely with the Third Sector to extend the project across the Islands and across the performance genres.