Project information

Ages & Stages

To engage older people (60-95) from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire most likely to be experiencing social and environmental isolation by setting up a new theatre group to increase social engagement, develop skills and confidence and improve health and wellbeing.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information

New Vic Theatre

New Vic Theatre logo
  • Need


    Loneliness and social isolation correlate strongly with other problems and are associated with poor physical and mental health. They are as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more damaging than obesity (Campaign to End Loneliness). Older people need a broad range of opportunities and activities to combat loneliness but many care professionals don’t engage with the arts - as a result activities on offer are often passive and don't answer the need.


    Our aim is to ensure that older people feel valued, are able to express creativity, use skills and engage with other people (including members of the New Vic's youth theatre), building friendships and enhancing feelings of wellbeing to strengthen resilience in tough times. The new group would meet on a weekly basis for 30 weeks. Group members will help lead a programme of activities, including drama and storytelling, to encourage ownership and participation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase social engagement, develop skills, confidence & improve wellbeing in older people.


    » Set up a new theatre group consisting of 25 people. The new group will follow on from our successful pilot Ages & Stages project.

    Success: Stage a play at the end of the project to be performed in public, involving all participants using their new skills e.g. acting, helping with lighting/sound, photography.

  • Impact


    Long term changes: 100% of the Ages & Stages pilot group participants are still part of the Ages & Stages group. They still take part in weekly workshops, and will inspire other older people to do the same. We expect that any new Age & Stages group members will continue taking part in drama workshops once their own initial project completes as they enjoy their increased self-esteem and social life.


    Risks might include us not being able to attract participants. However we have partnerships with Age Concern and the Beth Johnson Foundation who are able to point us in the direction of willing participants. We also have people on a waiting list who are keen to become Ages & Stages group members. Another risk might include us not receiving funding to grow and maintain the group, but in addition to this bid we are also applying for other grants and asking for donations.


    We will provide regular feedback to donors about the success of Ages & Stages. We can provide examples in various formats e.g. case studies, news items on our website, newsletters etc.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £7,100

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,900 Project Management Allowed for 1/2 day, £95 a day for 40 weeks.
      £3,050 Lead Practitioner Salary Salary: 1/2 day a week (£145 a day), 40 weeks. Including travel expenses (£150).
      £750 Evaluation & Documentation For reporting to donors.
      £600 Marketing Genral costs associated with promoting Ages & Stages to potential participants and audiences.
      £800 Tickets & Refreshments Tickets (£750), Refreshments (£50 per group per year).
  • Background


    Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, an economically challenged region:
    • Out of 326 local authorities, Stoke-on-Trent is the 16th most deprived (most recent Indices of Deprivation – 2010)
    • In Staffordshire, the over 60 population living in income deprivation varies between 24.1% and 52.3% (Staffordshire Observatory)
    • Approximately 4,000 people aged 65 and over locally will be experiencing long-term loneliness (Stoke-on-Trent City Council).


    A group of up to 25 isolated older people (aged 60-95). People who are least likely to engage in the arts, and most likely to be experiencing social and environmental isolation around Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The New Vic is the producing theatre for Staffordshire, with dedicated professional staff. Our education and community outreach work attracts national and international interest and has helped gain a reputation as a model for the ways that theatre can be used to work with communities, marginalised and vulnerable people.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Education Team

    Our Education team employs 2 full time practitioners who will project manage the entire process and complete all monitoring and evaluation.

    Stage Management Team

    Stage Management employ several full-time staff who would help with staging the Ages & Stages final show & teaching new skills to participants.

    The Participants

    Without participants we would be unable to explore issues regarding ageing, and the participants would then not be in a position to inspire others.


would cover the cost of running the Ages & Stages sessions each week

"It helps your mental health, you work through issues in your history and come up with a new outlook, it's a social activity, but so inclusive."

Ages & Stages pilot group member