Life-enhancing music and arts for those who need it most

Helen McDonald
Helen McDonald

A Brixton artist is part of an exciting new cultural programme to combat loneliness for people who continue to be most affected by lockdown and social distancing.

Helen McDonald featured in the Daily Mirror
Helen McDonald featured in the Daily Mirror

Helen McDonald spoke to the Blog (and was featured more recently in the Daily Mirror) about her links with the project.

She will be bringing her soulful lungs to The Telephone Jazz Singalong to lift the spirits of old people who can hear her renditions over the phone and are encouraged to join in.

From 22 June to 11 September, 2 to 5pm, Mondays to Thursdays, call 01473 561 027 to ask her for a request and to sing along.

This part of the project is promoted in partnership with veteran senior citizen entertainers The Posh Club.

The national #betweenspaces programme is organised by the Suffolk-based arts organisation Arts La’Olam.

Its mission stretches further than simply helping people during the pandemic, as the aim is to tackle the ongoing social issue of isolation in the UK, a topic usually underrepresented in the media but which, under recent circumstances, has been experienced globally.

An extensive range of online and remote workshops will be hosted by a number of dedicated artists, offering innovative methods that bring life-enhancing music and arts to people who need it the most.

Eight projects running throughout the summer provide artistic, resourceful ways to enjoy the simplicity and peace in reduced surroundings, while bringing together families and people of all ages through creative celebration.

As well as the Telephone Jazz Singalong, other commissions include a 30-minute art workshop with Hannah Aria to support mental health service users, in which people are inspired to create art using objects around the home.

Musician Fiston Lusambo will be hosting video calls specifically for people with learning disabilities, using his techniques and methodologies to help develop their musical skills and confidence.

Mariachi Las Adelitas
Mariachi Las Adelitas

Mariachi Las Adelitas, a London-based Mariachi band are named after the “brave Adelitas” who took up arms to support of husbands and sons during the Mexican revolution. They will produce a music video, gigging in their homes surrounded by children, pets and the domestic backdrop of lockdown, but dressed in their Mariachi finery – available from 1 September on their website.

The full list of inspiring events can be found on the Arts La’Olam website, including the opportunity to join an African Choir and attend The Mind Festival online!

Should you know anyone particularly vulnerable at this time who may benefit from this inclusive programme over the upcoming months, be sure to direct them towards all the available information as this could make a wonderfully positive difference in their everyday lives.