New Orleans style band set to entertain residents of Docking

| , | By Rachel Walsh
New Orleans style band set to entertain residents of Docking
New Orleans style band, East Angles Brass, will be performing whilst walking the streets of Docking, King’s Lynn, on Saturday 11 July to celebrate the end of the Spark, Kindle and Glow project delivered by local mental health charity, Norfolk and Waveney Mind in association with Community Action Norfolk.   

The aim of the project was to reduce social isolation and its impact on older people living in Docking and surrounding villages by helping them to engage in social activities and build their own community support networks.

Freedom Duma, Operations Manager, Community Action Norfolk said: “The Spark-Kindle-Glow project started in September 2018. In the Docking area, the project is implemented by Norfolk and Waveney Mind in partnership with Community Action Norfolk. The project was funded by Comic Relief over a 2-year period.  The aim of the project was/is to target five communities in West Norfolk with comparably higher levels of isolated older people and where service uptake across local providers is low. Since 2018, we have worked with these communities to run ‘Freshers’ Fairs Spark event’ for older people that showcase local activity and opportunities to get involved. At these events we encouraged people to make pledges to increase their engagement with/contribution to their community.

Through our Spark Events we reached over 210 people across five villages and we were also able to identify the most isolated older people who were likely to need one-to-one support before engaging with local opportunities. Over the last 2 years we have provided one-to-one support to over 200 people, addressing the key social needs like social isolation. We have helped socially isolated people access social activities in their communities and also the project has been very successful in working with local communities and agencies to develop solutions for activities that are missing or not easily accessible locally.

“Right from the inception of the project we aimed to be able to translate the initial participation of those who took part in the project into lasting behaviour change by helping people feel the benefit of their contribution.  During this last phase of the project we are helping beneficiaries design and deliver a programme of celebration events and activities for all who have increased their community engagement or contribution in some way.”

Beth Twite, Project Worker at Norfolk and Waveney Mind said: “COVID19 meant our social get togethers, music and games session had to be put on hold.  It has been so important to maintain contact with group members throughout lockdown, but with members unable to access digital communication tools, all contact has been via telephone and post. We have introduced a pen pal scheme and sent cards containing sweet pea seeds for the members to plant.

“I had a lump in my throat, it means so much to know we are being thought about”, said one of the group members.”

The group always intended to have a big celebration in July to mark the end of the project, so on Saturday 11 July, The Railway Inn at Docking are kindly delivering food to each of the members so they can have a shared experience (even when apart) and then at 2pm, East Angles Brass will parade (socially distanced) the village whilst performing their New Orleans style music.

Residents of Docking are invited to join to the celebrations on 11 July at 2pm.  Let your mood be lifted by the music from the comfort of your own front garden.  Spread the word, connect and enjoy!

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