Artful Ageing Gets Carers Switched on to Radio Drama


An innovative 10-week arts project is offering care groups and organisations in east Belfast the opportunity to create and share two radio dramas based on their caring experiences. Delivered by EastSide Arts and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Arts & Older People Programme the project called Artful Ageing aims to break down isolation and loneliness and promote well-being amongst older residents.

The radio dramas will be developed through an interactive workshop delivered by east Belfast-based writer and radio dramatist Jan Carson. It will include story development, writing, recording and editing of two short dramas exploring issues and experiences related to being a carer. The two radio dramas and a bespoke tool kit will be available to share with other care groups and organisations, with the hope that it will help to provide an opportunity to begin conversations about the positive and negative aspects of caring for another person.

EastSide Arts’ Artful Ageing workshops will also run from January to June at a variety of east Belfast venues including EastSide Visitor Centre. These free drop-in classes are for older members of the community and will feature a range of workshops including crochet, ceramics, textile art, painting and digital fabrication.

Looking forward to delivering the radio workshops, east Belfast writer Jan Carson said:

“ The Artful Ageing project is a wonderful initiative by EastSide Arts with support from Arts Council of Northern Ireland and their Arts & Older People Programme. It is vital that carers within our community are given the opportunity to discuss and share their experiences for caring for another person – whether this may be positive or negative. The radio workshop will be a fantastic platform to capture these conversations and I am very much looking forward to working with the carers as well as to see the outcome of the ten-week course.”

Lorraine Calderwood, Arts & Older People Programme Officer, explained how the Arts and Older People Programme is continuing to making a huge difference to people’s lives, saying: 

“The links between creative expression through participation in the arts, and improved wellbeing, are now well established. The Arts Council’s Arts & Older People Programme has evidenced how successful the arts are in making a positive impact on older people, tackling social issues such as isolation and social exclusion. With the help of professional artists these projects give a much needed voice to our older citizens through high quality arts interventions and the Arts Council is delighted to support the EastSide Arts Artful Ageing Programme.”

To register and for further information about the EastSide Arts Artful Ageing Programme  visit