Later Life Programme 2023-24

Britten Pears Arts is a pioneering cultural charity based in Suffolk.

Our work with adults in the local community allows those taking part to harness the power of music to create social connections and impact their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Currently we deliver 2 projects within the Later Life programme:

– Participate, weekly music-making sessions in several locations promoting social connection and improved wellbeing.

– East Suffolk Skylarks, a choir for people living with Parkinson’s and their companions, also help reduce isolation by connecting people going through similar experiences, and addressing their needs to tackle health-related symptoms as well as those of social wellbeing.

We work with a team of talented freelance musicians who all have experience and training for working with those with long-term health conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. Our artists include guitarists, singers, and instrumentalists. In addition, at each session will be a workshop assistant to provide pastoral and logistical support.

We are very fortunate to be working with a number of local social prescribers, community connectors and GP surgeries to promote and refer new participants to the projects. We hope that you may also be interested in sharing these projects with those you work with/support. Please find attached further information about our Later Life programme.

‘I really did feel like I had 2 hours of therapy, I completely forgot why I was there and enjoyed being in the moment! What you are all doing is truly wonderful and I will be recommending and referring as many patients as I can.’ Kelly Brown, Clinical Care Co-ordinator, Saxmundham Health


If you have any questions about the programme, please contact:

Lucy-Eve Wright (Producer) 01728 687165

Rosa Stuttle (Programmes Assistant) 01728 687127

To put a potential participant in touch please give them the following contact details: Community Team 01728 687127

16 January10am – 12pm
23 January10am – 12pm
30 January10am – 12pm
6 February10am – 12pm
13 February10am – 12pm
27 February10am – 12pm
5 March10am – 12pm
12 March10am – 12pm
19 March10am – 12pm
26 March10am – 12pm
Bowls Pavilion, Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre
Twelve Acre Approach,
Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 1JF


Relaxed and fun music heritage workshops for adults in Suffolk

Delivering free, weekly music-making sessions in several locations, promoting social connection and improved wellbeing.

Sessions are designed to tackle isolation and loneliness in older people through group activities and socialising over refreshments with others from the community. While open to all, sessions are suitable for those with long-term health conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. Where possible, transport is provided for those who need it.

‘I have decided to take time off work so that I can attend (with my partner) all the sessions you are doing in Leiston. We love what your team is doing, so glad we can be part of it’

Partner of participant with dementia

‘In my opinion the greatest strength of the programme is that it offers a high-quality experience of making music run by musicians. Having worked in and around social care and community activities for many years, I am aware that there are often low expectations of what older people (especially those living with dementia) want or can achieve. The Participate programme leaders achieve a great balance between fun and challenge’

Sharon Cuthbert, Dementia Project Manager for Leiston Dementia Project

Sessions currently take place in Kesgrave, Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Leiston.

East Suffolk Skylarks

A fun and friendly singing group for people living with Parkinson’s and their companions.

‘I have been amazed at the effect of being involved in Skylarks. I have regular contact with a lovely group of people. My world is a better place for being involved in Skylarks.’ Participant

East Suffolk Skylarks group use techniques based on years of research to help those with Parkinson’s to maintain or improve their psychological and physical wellbeing through taking part in regular singing activity. Our experienced leaders have been trained through Sing To Beat Parkinson’s.

‘From the beginning I have met people from different sections of the community. Probably some of whom I would not have met if I had not had Parkinson’s. I was once told I could not sing but singing has now become something I love to do. We do warm up exercises and tongue twisters all to help with Parkinson’s symptoms. The exercises were relaxing, and we were told not worry as anyone can sing and if you get it wrong sing it loud and strong. Everyone looking after the group were respectful and made me so welcome. I really loved the experience of using venues within Snape Maltings.’ Participant

Sessions take place in Ipswich and Snape.

Come and make music and explore historical objects with our friendly team of professional workshop leaders and musicians.

These sessions will bring you together with others in your local community, providing opportunity to take part in activities and connect over tea and cake. No musical experience is necessary to take part. Sessions are free to attend – just show up!

Our team are trained to ensure these workshops are suitable for those living with long term health conditions, including dementia and Parkinson’s.

Participate also runs in Saxmundham, Leiston and Woodbridge. For further details of a session near you, or to arrange transport, please contact the Community Team on or 01728 68712 Supported by The Vernon Ellis foundation, Connect for Health Ipswich and East