Sea Folk Sing was created by Ideas Test and SparkedEcho to explore North Kent’s maritime and folklore history through music and singing.
It was always our wish to carry on the legacy of Sea Folk Sing in some way.
We planned in 2020 to hold in-person workshops in hyperlocal venues in Medway and Swale. However, 2020 had other ideas…
Sea Folk Sing during Lockdown
As the first Coronavirus Lockdown was announced, we were keen to keep our Sea Folk Sea community together in a safe and creative way.
We wanted to ease the isolation that the lockdown had brought to many people and to provide some creative escapism for our 55+ community.
Working together with our valued team of Sea Folk Sing artists and musicians, and with input from those older people who had taken part in previous years, we created a series of interactive online workshops.
Each workshop focused on a wide range of skills and activities and was open to anyone aged 55+ in who lived in Medway and Swale.
At a time where online connectivity seemed more important than ever, we realised that many of our community aged over 55 were being left behind.
To help we supported those who wanted to come to our workshops who were maybe not as ‘tech-savvy’ as their peers with simple instructions and support on how to download, set-up, and log onto Zoom for the workshops.
The overall theme of these Sea Folk Sing Workshops was Hope and Connection.
- Wellbeing with Debbie Sowter
- Songwriting with Paul Simmonds
- Songs of Hope With Lucky Moyo
- A Wellbeing Toolkit with Anil Sebastian
- Connectivity (Songwriting) with Naomi Bedford
- Home (Songwriting) with Bob Carling
- Hope and Connection (exploring Digital Technology in Music) with Kevin Grist
What did those taking part think?
Jo Eden, who took part in Sea Folk Sing from 2018, was interviewed for a promo video for the workshops.
Here’s what some on the 55+ participants of these workshops said;
“This year’s Virtual Workshops are the perfect way to take time for yourself, see the positives in life and just smile. Each week I just lose myself in a safe, creative atmosphere
under the guidance of truly inspirational artists from very different backgrounds.
Took me back to the lyrics of a very beautiful Sea Folk Sing Composition from last year 
“… just breathe, just be.”
I left that session feeling calmer and happier than I have in months.”
“I have really loved the online workshops. It has been great to meet up again with people
from Medway and the artists that we worked with on the last project.”
“Having something to look forward to each week and just forgetting about everything with
such a lovely group of people has been a true godsend for me.”
Hearts For The Arts 2021
We’re delighted to announce that Sea Folk Sing has been shortlisted for a Hearts For The Arts Award 2021.
Kent County Council along with Medway and Swale Councils have been nominated for Best Arts Project for Sea Folk Sing – a 2-year project involving people over the age of 55 from areas of Swale and Medway who took part creative writing and music workshops, which then led to a finale performance.
Discussing Sea Folk Sing’s nomination Hearts for the Arts Award partners said:
“At a time when so many are isolated and alone, especially older people, it was great to hear about a project like this that built on people’s sense of pride and ensured their voices were still being heard. A wonderful project that has clearly brought joy to all those who participated at a time when joy was in short supply.”
The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2021 will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14th February.
Sea Folk Sing 2019
Find out more about the songs written with local people and Kent-based musicians, including The Dockyard Rush, and performances in places including Gillingham FC’s Priestfield Stadium and Sheerness East Working Mens Club.
Visit our Sea Folk Sing 2019 page: https://ideastest.org.uk/seafolksing-2019/
Sea Folk Sing 2018 – Never Again
Learn how 60+ workshops became an Ivor Novello Award-nominated choral work by Kent-based composer Emily Peasgood which was performed on Remembrance Sunday 2018 live on a train and on a Railway Station footbridge for free to hundreds of people.
About the project
Sea Folk Sing Year Two was part of an Ideas Test and SparkedEcho production, exploring North Kent’s maritime and folklore history through singing.
The project was funded by Celebrating Age – a fund from Arts Council England & The Baring Foundation.
It was also funded by Kent County Council, Involving Medway and Optivo.