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Council awards grant to scheme offering virtual tours of Notts landmarks to elderly in Gedling

SUCCESS: The Armchair Gallery scheme has successfully won a grant from Nottinghamshire County Council
SUCCESS: The Armchair Gallery scheme has successfully won a grant from Nottinghamshire County Council

A scheme that takes elderly care home residents in Gedling borough on a virtual tour of some of Nottinghamshire’s most famous landmarks has received fresh funding from a local council.

The Armchair Gallery, which runs the sessions in Gedling, Ashfield and Mansfield, was awarded £7,500 by Nottingham County Council this week.

The scheme gives elderly people in care ‘virtual’ access to Nottinghamshire’s historical and cultural venues using an app on iPads.

City Arts, who run the scheme, has a long track record in working with communities in Nottinghamshire and over the last eight years has been working closely with older residents in care homes.

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The group will use the funding to shoot a series of new films across Nottinghamshire that will be taken into care homes to show residents.

Kate Duncan, Creative Programme Manager at City Arts said: “We use iPad applications to add a digital dimension to the work that we are doing. Through this work it is important that we engage older people living with dementia through multisensory experiences, touchscreen participation, viewing historical artefacts, gardens/arts collections.”

In total, the Council received 53 applications for a total of £441,000 in funding – six times the amount available.

The decision to award grants of between £5,000 and £8,500 to the selected projects follows a comprehensive application and assessment process.

Applicants that have been unsuccessful in securing one of the Arts Fund grants will be offered support to identify other potential sources of funding.

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Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, Deputy Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair of the Grant-Aid Sub Committee, said: “While financial support for the arts across the country has been adversely affected by austerity, I am pleased that we have been able to protect this budget, despite the significant financial challenges facing the County Council.

“The fact that we received more applications to the Arts Fund than ever before shows that schemes which provide better access to the arts across Nottinghamshire are still important and very-much needed.

“Of course, the popularity of the Arts Fund also brings its own challenges though – with only a finite amount of funding to go around, we have the difficult task of deciding which of a superb range of projects to support.

“The schemes we are funding cover a wide cross section of our county, with projects for young and old, women and men, people with disabilities and deprived communities – we have an exciting mixture of projects which will provide a lasting legacy in our communities.”

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