What is the Campaign about?

Welsh language information

The Family Arts Campaign is a national Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to raise family engagement with arts and culture.

Since our beginnings in 2012, we have focused on three main areas of work:

  • Increasing the amount and range of artistic work available to families
  • Increasing the quality of experience for families
  • Improving marketing to reach more families

We are here to support National Portfolio Organisations, museums, libraries, community groups, individuals, and anyone else looking to better connect families with arts and culture.

You can take part by signing up to the free Family Arts Standards and Age-Friendly Standards quality-marks, by attending training and events, or accessing our online resources library. You can also promote all of your family and age-friendly events for free as part of our Fantastic for Families  campaign.


Who is running the Campaign?

We are a cross-sector and cross-artform initiative steered by a consortium of ten organisations and trade bodies. Our lead partner organisation is The Albany.

Logos of consortium partners: AMA, CVAN, ITS, One Dance UK, Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre, The Albany, Kids in Museums, ABO, The Audience Agency


The campaign is overseen by a Project Board:

Matthew Swann(Interim chair) Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Sebastian CaterHead of UK Theatre and Workforce Development, UK Theatre
Charlotte JonesChief Executive, Independent Theatre Council
Cath HumeExecutive Director, Arts Marketing Association
Robert O’DowdChief Executive, Rose Theatre Kingston
Gavin BarlowChief Executive/Artistic Director, The Albany
Mark PembertonDirector, Association of British Orchestras
Anne TorreggianiExecutive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-Best CEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Alison Bowyer and Laura BedfordExecutive Director and Head of Programmes, Kids in Museums
Paula OrrellDirector, Contemporary Visual Arts Network
Frederick HopkinsHead of Business Development and Membership, One Dance UK
Sarah Mears and Liz McMillanProgramme Manager, Libraries Connected / Libraries and Culture Services Manager, Slough Borough Council 


Central co-ordination team:

Anna DeverHead of Campaign
Rukhsana JahangirCampaign Manager
Sophie EvansDigital Marketing Manager
Daniela GerstmannDigital Marketing Officer

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Age-Friendly links & resources

On this page you will find a selection of links and resources which may provide useful further reading to help inform your age-friendly work .Many of these resources represent general inclusive and accessible practice and will of course be relevant to all ages. However, we recognise that age-friendly provision should be inclusive and beneficial for everybody, regardless of age. For further accessibility resources please see here.

There is a wealth of information, resources, toolkits, training, and potential sources of partnership that can help your organization connect to older people in the community. This directory is non-exhaustive and includes links to agencies, providers or resources, information or simply sources of inspiration that have been recommended to the Family Arts Campaign by our networks.

If you would like to recommend a link or an organization (either national or locally-based) for inclusion, we’d love to hear from you. Please email clair@thealbany.org.uk to submit your suggestion.

Resources & Reading

Age-Friendly Standards
The Age-Friendly Standards provide specific guidance on welcoming older generations and are designed to complement the existing Family Arts Standards which codify good practice in welcoming families. Organisations are using the Age-Friendly Standards to communicate their commitment to all generations, providing a welcoming and positive experience for visitors, regardless of their age. View here.

Guidance for Cultural Organisations using the Age-Friendly Standards
Family Arts Campaign’s guidance document for cultural organisations contains guidance on how  to implement the Age-Friendly Standards, along with a self-assessment checklist to benchmark your progress. Download here.

NEW: Celebrating Age webinar – what it means to be dementia friendly
This webinar was hosted by Imogen Blood, Evaluator for the national Celebrating Age programme funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation. Contributers are Grace Meadows, Director of Music for Dementia, and Nicky Taylor, Theatre and Dementia Research Associate at Leeds Playhouse. This webinar was delivered in partnership with the AMA. Download here.

Age-Friendly Case Studies
Family Arts Campaign have compiled a set of 10 case studies from arts and cultural organisations across the UK about their age-friendly work. View here.

Becoming a Dementia-Friendly Arts Venue
A practical guide for arts venue managers and staff on how to make the environment, facilities and programming of arts venues accessible to people with dementia, their families and carers. From the Alzheimer’s Society. View here.

Ageing Artfully
A report on Older People and Professional Participatory Arts in the UK, By David Cutler, Baring Foundation. In 2009 the Baring Foundation launched a new fund for arts organisations in the UK working in a participative way with older people. This mapping study looks at the kind of work that could be supported by this fund. The report begins with the broad context of our ageing society, the discrimination and disadvantage faced by older people and at the voluntary sector organisations that serve them. It moves on to give a picture of arts organisations working with older people based on 120 short case studies. View here.

The Role of Local Authorities in Creative Ageing
By David Cutler, The Baring Foundation. Second edition, including brand new case studies from councils across the UK. View here.

Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People
The Baring Foundation commissioned this review to provide evidence to funders about the benefits accrued through art activities and to support arts organisations to improve their work. View here.

Dementia & Imagination
Research informed approaches to visual arts programmes, intended to be used by artists and other people who plan to deliver arts-based activities with people who are living with dementia. Produced by the Dementia and Imagination research programme.View here.

Dementia Toolkit
Kimmel, J. Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery with Canterbury Christ Church University. View here.

Dementia Friendly Performances guide
A guide from Leeds Playhouse (formerly West Yorkshire Playhouse). View here.

Arts and Older People
Evaluation of the Arts and Older People Programme Interim Report (2015) by Arts Council of Northern Ireland. View here.

Age of Creativity toolkits
Including Parkinson’s UK Creative Writing Toolkit, Singing for Older People, and Evaluating your Project. View here.

Arts Council England Celebrating Age
Blogs, case studies, and finding from the Arts Council England older people poll into arts and culture. View here.

Age UK’s Index of Wellbeing in Later Life 2017

A study of wellbeing in later life, looking at older people’s wellbeing across the whole population and measuring the contributing factors.  View here.

Flourishing Lives
Claremont Project’s research on the Flourishing Lives wellbeing and older people’s day service. View here.

Understanding digital engagement in later life
A University of Manchester report on use of the internet and digital technologies among older people and its relationship to wellbeing. View here.

Government guidance on accessible communications formats. View here.

Historic England’s guidance on access to historic buildings. View here.

Camden Council Good Practice Guidelines for Intergenerational Work. View here.

Oxford Institute of Population Aging evidence base on communities, families and relationships between the generations. View here.

Future of an Ageing Population – Government Office for Science. View here.

A Manifesto for All Age-Friendly Cities. Manchester, H. & Facer, K. (2016) University of Bristol: View here.

Isolation; The Emerging Crisis for Older Men. Independent Age (2014). View here.

DCMS Taking Part Survey (2016): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/taking-part-survey

So far and yet so near: The Whitworth’s Esmé Ward on Ambition for arts and ageing in Hong Kong and Manchester View here.


Alzheimer’s, Dementia:

Alzheimer’s Society: www.alzheimers.org.uk
UK’s leading dementia support and research charity

Dementia Friends: www.dementiafriends.org.uk
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia.

Dementia Action Alliance: www.dementiaalliance.org.uk
Alliance for organisations across England to connect, share best practice and take action on dementia

Arts4Dementia: https://www.arts4dementia.org.uk
Bringing together arts and dementia care and promoting best practice through training, advice online resources and seminars

Creative Dementia Arts Network: www.creativedementia.org
Challenges and possibilities connecting artists, arts organisations and cultural institutions with commissioners of creative arts for dementia

Reading Well: http://reading-well.org.uk/books/books-on-prescription/dementia
Books on Prescription for Dementia

SuperCarers: Playing Brain Games Improves Mental Health and Memory in the Elderly

Older People & Community, National:

Age UK: www.ageuk.org.uk
The country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life

Age Action Alliance: www.ageactionalliance.org
Working to improve the quality of life through partnership working between member organisations and older people.

University of the Third Age: www.u3a.org.uk
Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward

Centre for Ageing Better: www.ageing-better.org.uk
Independent charitable foundation, bringing about change for people in later life today and for future generations.

Campaign to End Loneliness: www.campaigntoendloneliness.org
Network of organisations working together through community action, good practice, research and policy to ensure that loneliness is acted upon as a public health priority

Grandparents Plus: www.grandparentsplus.org.uk
National charity which champions the vital role of grandparents and the wider family in children’s lives

Independent Age: www.independentage.org
Advice on the issues that matter: care and support, money and benefits, health and mobility

Stroke: https://www.stroke.org.uk/take-action/stroke-clubs-and-groups
Find stroke clubs and groups in your area

Oxford Institute of population ageing www.aging.ox.ac.uk
Including evidence base on communities, families and relationships between the generations.

Care & Repair: www.careandrepair-england.org.uk
Improving the homes and living conditions of older people

Skills for Care: www.skillsforcare.org.uk
Helping create a better-led, more skilled and valued adult social care workforce

Men in Sheds: www.menssheds.org.uk
Realising the value of coming together around practical tasks on a regular basis

Contact the Elderly: www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk
The only national charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people

Access & Equality              

Attitude is Everything: www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk
Improving Deaf & disabled people’s access to live music

StageText: www.stagetext.org
Stagetext makes theatre and culture accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people

VocalEyes: www.vocaleyes.org.uk
Provide opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to experience the arts at UK’s theatres, museums, galleries and heritage sites

Signed Culture: www.signedculture.org.uk
Supporting and promoting BSL access to the arts in the UK

VISTA: www.vistacentre.org
Vista Centre for Blind and Visually Impaired

RNIB: www.rnib.org.uk
Sight loss support

Disability Arts Online: www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk

Disabled Go: www.disabledgo.com

Equality Act 2010: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents (this replaces the 1995 DDA in England, Scotland and Wales)

Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/how-we-make-impact/diversity-and-equality

Society of Chief Librarians ‘Six Steps Promise’- Six steps to library services for blind and partially sighted people: http://goscl.com/best-practice/six-steps-for-blind-and-partially-sighted-people/

Visit England & Visit Scotland’s Accessibility Guides: www.accessibilityguides.org

Visit Britain’s guidance on Providing Access for All: www.visitbritain.org/providing-access-all

Equality & Human Rights Commission’s guidance on Equality Discrimination: www.equalityhumanrights.com/en

Government HSE Guidelines: www.hse.gov.uk

Euan’s Guide: www.euansguide.com
Disabled access reviews by disabled people for disabled people

Sports England, Mapping Disability: www.sportengland.org/our-work/disability-sport/mapping-disability An in-depth look at the range of impairments experienced by people across England

Ageing Well: www.local.gov.uk/ageing-well-legacy-involving-older-people-resources-content Case studies on involving older people in projects in Houndslow, North East Lincolnshire, Bradford and Derby City.

The Pink Book, Visit Britain: www.visitbritain.org/pink-book/buy-printed-copy-pink-book
The independent VisitEngland accommodation quality scheme includes access guidance.


Arts & Ageing, national:

Age of Creativity: www.ageofcreativity.co.uk
Network supporting older people to achieve better health, wellbeing and quality of life. Including toolkits, events and funding news.

Age Friendly Museums Network: www.agefriendlymuseums.wordpress.com
Supporting museums to be more age-friendly – bringing people together through workshops, training and sharing good practice

Equal Arts: www.equalarts.org.uk
Leading creative ageing charity supporting older people and those living with dementia

Magic Me: www.magicme.co.uk
The UK’s leading provider of intergenerational arts activities

Camden Council Good Practice Guidelines for Intergenerational Work: https://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/council-and-democracy/having-your-say/asc-engagement-and-research-team/intergenerational-work.en?page=2

The UK’s Ageing Population: Challenges and Opportunities for Museums & Galleries, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing: http://www.ageing.ox.ac.uk/download/173

A Handbook for Cultural Engagement with Older Men. Watts, E. Whitworth Art Gallery & University of Manchester (2015): https://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=24251

Towards the End:The Baring Foundation’s Arts and Older People Programme 2010-2017

Exemplary Practice in Participatory Arts with Older People. Organ, K. (2013). Baring Foundation: http://baringfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AfterYAT.pdf

Creative Homes: How the Arts can contribute to quality of life in residential care. Baring Foundation (2011): http://baringfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/CreativeCareHomes.pdf

Tackling Loneliness in Older Age- The Role of the Arts. Baring Foundation: http://baringfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Loneliness.pdf

ComRes poll for Arts Council England on people aged 65+ about arts and culture (2016): http://www.comresglobal.com/polls/arts-council-england-older-people-poll

Heritage Interpretation for Senior Audiences Project. HISA (2015): http://www.interpret-europe.net/top/projects/hisa/results.html

Live Music Now: www.livemusicnow.org.uk/wellbeing_older_people
Include work for wellbeing and older people

Arts, Health & Wellbeing:

Arts Care: www.artscare.co.uk unique arts in health charity based in Belfast. With free resources including reports on the Here and Now Festival for older people, community wellbeing projects, and case studies of their work within their annual reports.

National Alliance for Arts, Health & Wellbeing: www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk

National Alliance for Museums, Health & Wellbeing: www.museumsandwellbeingalliance.wordpress.com

APPG Enquiry on Creative Health: Arts, Health & Wellbeing 2017: http://www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk/appg-inquiry

NHS Arts in Healthcare network: https://www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/arts-in-healthcare
Sharing up-to-date information on research, opportunities, resources and courses

Arts for Health: http://www.artsforhealth.org Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University is the UK’s longest established arts and health organisation

Older People’s Advocacy Alliance UK: www.opaal.org.uk National organisation supporting independent advocacy services for older people

Centre for Policy on Ageing: www.cpa.org.uk Information, provision, policy and research

Funding Programmes:

Arts Council England ‘Celebrating Age’: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/celebrating-age
Expressions of Interest must be submitted by midday on Thursday 31 August 2017

Baring Foundation: http://baringfoundation.org.uk/project/arts-and-older-people
Grants by invitation or application for open programmes


Training & Consultancy:

Alzheimer’s Society: training and consultancy for organiations: www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20129/training_for_organisations

Age UK: your local AgeUK will offer support and advice, which could include free 1 to 1 session, events or training depending on your area. Find your local AgeUK: www.ageuk.org.uk/about-us/local-partners

Challenge Consultancy unconscious bias training tackles hidden bias and how we communicate with people www.challcon.com/unconscious-bias.html

Attitude is Everything: www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk offer disability equality training, consultancy and more




East Midlands:



  • Ageing Better in Camden: ageingbetterincamden.org.uk Partnership of older people and Camden organisations, working together to tackle social isolation and loneliness among older people
  • Age Exchange: age-exchange.org.uk Changing lives through reminiscence, improving health and wellbeing
  • Open Age: openage.org.uk Championing an active life for older people across Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham
  • London Arts in Health Forum: lahf.org.uk
  • Silver Sunday: silversunday.org.uk – a day of free events for older people in October
  • North London Cares & South London Cares: northlondoncares.org.uk / www.southlondoncares.org.uk community network of young professionals and older neighbours hanging out and helping one another in our rapidly changing city
  • Entelechy Arts: entelechyarts.org A participatory arts company based in South-East London
  • Flourishing Lives: flourishinglives.org London-wide coalition of organisations taking a creative, relational approach to supporting richer, more independent lives for older people


North East:

  • Ageing Better in Middleborough: ageingbettermiddlesbrough.org.uk a six year, £6 million programme aimed at reducing loneliness and social isolation for people aged 50 and over in Middlesbrough
  • Disability North: disabilitynorth.org.uk promoting inclusion, independence and choice for disabled people and their families by providing information, advice and support on any aspect of disability


North West:

  • Happy Older People: happyolderpeople.com A network promoting age-friendly arts participation and creating new partnerships and connections between organisations in the Liverpool City Region
  • Age Friendly Manchester manchester.gov.uk/info/200091/older_people/7116/our_age-friendly_work Partnership involving organisations, groups and individuals across the city playing their part in making Manchester a great place to grow older.
  • Manchester Age Friendly Neighbourhoods: http://www.msa.ac.uk/mafn a group aiming to bring people together to develop plans to help make neighbourhoods better for older residents
  • Action Together actiontogether.org.uk/get-help Support for working with communities in Oldham and Tameside
  • Ambition for Aging ambitionforageing.org.uk Manchester initiative to reduce social exclusion
  • GMCVO (Greater Manchester for Voluntary Orgs). gmcvo.org.uk The voluntarysector support organisation covering Greater Manchester
  • LIME Music for Health: https://musicforhealth.wordpress.com/about delivering music across Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust (CMFT) since 2009
  • Community Arts NW: can,uk.com Manchester-based arts development organisation working with urban communities across Greater Manchester 


Northern Ireland:



  • Hynt Access Scheme: hynt.co.uk new national access schemethat works with theatres and arts centres in Wales to provide visitors with an impairment or specific access requirement
  • Ageing Well in Wales: ageingwellinwales.com national Programme hosted by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, bringing together individuals and communities with public, private and voluntary sectors
  • Active Wales: activewales.org.uk A news and information resource for retired people and the elderly in Wales


West Midlands:

  • Ageing Better in Birmingham: ageingbetterinbirmingham.co.uk A number of programmes and networks to support quality of life for over 50s in Birmingham
  • West Midlands Arts, Health and Wellbeing: www.westmidlandsartshealthandwellbeing.org.uk The regional network dedicated to supporting arts and health work and the people who make it happen
  • Support Staffordshire: supportstaffordshire.org.uk Help with finding and supporting volunteers
  • Age Friendly Coventry: coventryoldervoices.org Partnership between Coventry City Council, Age UK Coventry, Coventry University and Coventry Older Voices for improving Social Participation, Transport, Communication and Information
  • Sandwell Third Age Arts: staa.org.uk Specialise in training artists on working practices that incorporates the needs of older people, including case studies.
  • assisit-Mi app assist-mi.com A communication tool to help people with assistance needs to request further information/and or a helping hand when visiting an organization
  • Coventry Older Voices: coventryoldervoices.org Improving lives of older people in the city
  • Creative Health CIC: http://www.creativehealthcic.co.uk/?page_id=620 Designing and delivering high quality arts and health projects in the West Midlands


South East:


South West:



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