AN ongoing collaboration between UWS and a local charity is aiming to continue providing more joy and laughter to care homes in East Ayrshire as the country exits coronavirus lockdown.

The University of the West of Scotland’s Kinections project and charity Hearts & Minds’ Edlerflowers programme started their quest to do just that earlier this month.

Residents at Dalmellington Care Centre and Burnfoot House have been receiving online visits from Elderflower workers.

This team is made up of professional artists trained to work with people living with dementia in health and care settings.

Their aim is to enable meaningful human connection and generate feelings of belonging through signing, improvisation, music and movement with each activity tailored to the individual’s needs.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has halted the usual format of visits to the care homes, Hearts & Minds have been thinking of new ways to deliver their services.

And now, the partnership between the charity and UWS’ Kinections project will bring laughter to those residents with the online visits.

Dr Edel Roddy, Kinections Project Lead at UWS, said: “Care home staff have spoken about how well residents have been engaging through the laptop screen and how quickly a warm bond developed between the Elderflowers and the residents.

“I have seen how the care home staff and Hearts & Minds practitioners have been extremely open and enthusiastic in adapting to these new circumstances.

“I am very hopeful that we will be able to gather key learnings from this collaboration to ensure that online visits between the creative team and residents with dementia are meaningful and impactful for everyone involved.”