‘Hearts for the Arts’ Awards 2022 Success – Latest news from Mole Valley District Council

The winners of the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022* have been announced, with Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) and Surrey County Council’s (SCC) partnership Intergenerational Connections Project one of three that won Best Arts Project.

MVDC and SCC won for their ‘Singing for social connection’ course and an intergenerational music making project at Keswick Care Home; both of which took place in 2021.

Nominations were received from across the UK for each of this year’s three award categories: Best Arts Project; Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker; and Best Arts Champion – Councillor. This year’s winners were selected from the shortlist by a judging panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners**.

Discussing The Intergenerational Connections Project, the judges remarked they “particularly love projects like this that bring generations together. It is widely known that care settings really suffered as a result of the pandemic and this project sounds completely joyful for all concerned. Empathy between young children and older people makes the world a much happier place.”

Nina Austin NHS Project Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Best Arts Project award in the Hearts of the Arts Awards 2022. The residents of Keswick Care Home and the group of children from Eastwick Junior School really connected through music over the six week project. Surrey Downs Health & Care Partnership were so happy to work with the inspirational IMM music company, MVDC, Eastwick School and Keswick Care Home on this wonderful project. Work has already begun to roll the project out across Surrey Downs with 60 more similar projects planned over the next 20 months. We plan to set up 6 self-sustaining intergenerational music hubs across the Surrey Downs area.”

Charlotte Miller, Director and Founder of Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) said:“This innovative Together with Music pilot, is the result of a fantastic collaboration between MVDC, Surrey Downs Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) and Intergenerational Music Making (IMM). The pilot project followed a time of isolation and has supported those living with dementia and challenging circumstances to create a stronger, healthier, intergenerational local community. We are thrilled to be rolling out more intergenerational music making projects across Surrey Downs highlighting that the intersecting worlds of music and intergenerational practice have an innate ability to bridge gaps between both generations and professionals benefiting people across demographics, sectors and communities.”

Grace Watkins, IMM Project Manager, said: Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) are so pleased that two of our projects in Surrey have received the Best Arts Project award in the Hearts of the Arts Awards 2022. Intergenerational connection helps us build stronger communities, and having healthy, resilient communities is so important, now more than ever. These two projects took place as we were emerging from lockdown restrictions and highlighted the power music has, to bring people together. It was a pleasure to work alongside Mole Valley District Council on these projects as well as the Surrey Downs Health and Care Partnership, with whom we are currently rolling out 60 projects connecting Care Homes with their local Primary Schools across Surrey.

Dr Simon Williams, Clinical Director, Surrey Downs Health and Care Partnership said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award alongside our partners MVDC, Eastwick School, Keswick Care Home and the inspirational IMM music company.  The care home residents and the group of children who participated really connected through music over the 6 week project, and it was clear to see the benefits of the initiative for all involved.  Work has already begun to roll the project out across Surrey Downs with 60 similar projects planned over the next 20 months, with plans to set up further self-sustaining intergenerational music hubs across the Surrey Downs area in the near future.


Inresponse to winning the ‘Best Arts Project’ award, Cabinet Member of Leisure and Tourism, Councillor David Draper, said “This is a wonderful result and I am delighted that it was achieved with such an innovative approach. Bringing a range of people together is imaginative and truly worthwhile. In the context of music, it is easy to see how this link could develop over the six weeks. Many congratulations to all involved in this project, and I hope that gaining this award will encourage the continuation of this style of project in the future.”

Also shortlisted in the awards was Cllr Mary Huggins, for ‘Best Arts Champion – Local Authority’.  Cllr Huggins has championed the arts in Mole Valley for many years, and is currently Chair of Arts Alive; Mole Valley’s award winning community arts festival, which takes place each October. In response to being shortlisted for ‘Best Arts Champion’, Councillor Huggins said: “I was absolutely thrilled that, for the second year running, Mole Valley had two shortlisted for the prestigious National Campaign for the Arts, Hearts for the Arts Award. I am delighted that Mole Valley has won an award for their Intergenerational Connections project, which brought the young and old together, in collaboration with Surrey County Council and NHS Surrey Heartlands. Congratulations to all, and especially Claudia Cartwright, MVDC’s Arts Development Officer, for this great achievement”


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