Young At HeArt

Young At HeArt's first session in May 2017 in Sittingbourne (Photo: Kyra Cross)

Find out more about Young At HeArt, a joint project for people 55+  between Ideas Test, Swale Community and Voluntary Services (SCVS) and Swale Seniors Forum, and made possible by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For Al.

About Young At HeArt

From May 2017 to April 2018, we helped a mix of local artists, musicians, and art & culture organisations bring creative sessions to people 55+ in Swale.

The sessions were created to bring people together, prevent social isolation, improve wellbeing and make people feel connected to their community.

Each session was free of charge with refreshments available and were scheduled to work best for those taking part.

We worked around public transport timetables to help those coming by bus or train, and for those people unable to use public transport we worked with SCVS’ Transport Service to get people to-and-from Young At HeArt venues.


A Young At HeArt woodworking session – part of Craft Club (Photo: Kyra Cross)

The Sessions

Young At Heart had a rolling programme of bi-monthly sessions to keep the sessions varied. These sessions were;

  • Film Club
    • With the help of Swale Film Society, these sessions showed classic films, some chosen by those taking part, in a friendly venue with tea and biscuits.
    • Films shown included Some Like It Hot, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid and The Lady In The Van.
  • Craft Club
    • Where people could take part in activities, led by local artists and experts, including making Christmas cards, woodworking, sewing and eco-friendly crafts.
  • Movement Club
    • These sessions at Phoenix House Community Centre in Sittingbourne, were gentle classes for all abilities where people could get moving with exercises like Feldenkrais, and dance sessions with Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company.
  • Culture Club


Mid Kent Astrological Society at a Young At HeArt session (Photo: Ideas Test)

What we learnt

Young At HeArt showed us that by accommodating their needs into what we do, they were delighted to learn new things and share their experiences and stories with us.

We also learnt that working together with people over 55 to help create a programme makes them feel included in the act of co-creation.

Young At HeArt also helped us develop our 55+ programme legacy with projects like Sea Folk Sing and our cross-generational project, You Me Us/You Me Us Too.

A Young At HeArt ‘Culture Club’ session with musician Bela Emerson (Photo: Kyra Cross)