Dance to Health is a new, pioneering nationwide falls prevention dance programme for older people. Combining evidence based physiotherapy with the creativity, expression and energy of dance. Dance to Health was devised and is managed by the arts charity and social enterprise Aesop.
Falls are extremely traumatic for older people. NICE estimates falls cost the NHS £2.3 billion per year. Current falls prevention programmes face several challenges, all of which are addressed by Dance to Health. Dance to Health offers a fresh and pioneering approach:
“Currently there is patchy provision of falls prevention programmes for older people in the UK. The ones in existence have low take-up, there is a lack of maintenance classes which means that gains are lost and investment is wasted, and a minority of current services are evidence-based – this is what Dance to Health is set-up to address”.
Tim Joss (Chief Executive and Founder, Aesop)
in 2016, six six-month Dance to Health pilots were undertaken in Cheshire, London and Oxfordshire delivered by the some of the UK’s leading dance organisations: East London Dance, Cheshire Dance and South East Dance. The pilots have formed the foundation of an attractive, effective, financially sustainable model which could grow and benefit thousands of older people across the UK and save the NHS money.
Thanks to a £2.3 million expansion programme in 2017, Dance to Health is now being rolled out in various locations across England and Wales, with regional Health Partners and Dance Partners. For more information on the expansion programme see News.
The Health / Social Care Partners for Dance to Health phase 1 roll out are –
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
Cheshire East & Chester Council
Connected Care Partnership (NHS Vanguard in Sandwell and West Birmingham)
NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group
NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group
Royal British Legion care homes
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
The Dance Partners are all Arts Council-funded national portfolio organisations expert in working with older people:
Birmingham Royal Ballet
National Dance Company Wales
South East Dance
Tim Joss is Aesop’s founder and Chief Executive. He is a social and cultural entrepreneur who has founded several organisations including the Bath Literature Festival, National Numeracy and, most recently, the Arts Impact Fund, the first arts-specific social investment fund (with Arts Council England, Cabinet Office, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Gulbenkian Foundation and Nesta). Tim was appointed a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005.
Dance to Health is an Aesop project.
Karen Hamilton is Dance to Health’s Head of Programme. Following a photography degree, she worked on community projects and policy in the voluntary sector for 20 years. She is a strong champion of user-led community development – working with local people on creative solutions to life’s challenges, many using the arts to improve health and wellbeing. Karen’s role unites her voluntary sector skills with her passion for the arts.
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