Sunday, September 1, 2013

The (uncomfortable) Science of Self Realisation...

So - the little film above is a taster for something larger that I'm working on around the thorny issue of what constitutes research and evidence in arts and health. It should be ready for November. What else to squeeze in today? Syria?  Too removed from an Arts/Health agenda perhaps? The chemical attacks were as horrible as it gets. Unimaginable. Vile - whoever used them. Still, it has been refreshing to see Parliament working effectively and controlling pumped-up politicians. Let’s also not forget Britain’s own illustrious history in chemical and biological research and development. Now run by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, (an agency of the MOD), Porton Down is of course, only concerned with defence and not offence! We can consign all those early developments of nerve agents like VX to the history books. After all, we’re far too civilised to develop, market or export conventional weapons of any sort to unstable areas of the world, let alone have any interest in expanding our knowledge of newer technologies and their possible violent uses. Perish the thought.

OK - back to business:

Tesco Charity Trust Community Awards 
Charitable groups who are working locally across the UK to support elderly people and adults and children with disabilities have until the end of September to submit their application for funding. The Tesco Charity Trust offers its Community Awards scheme four times a year to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations working on local projects that benefit communities close to Tesco stores in the UK. The scheme has two strands: one which supports elderly people and adults and children with disabilities and a second which supports children and their education and welfare. There are two funding rounds per strand per year. Groups can apply for one-off awards of between £500 and £4,000 which will support practical things such as equipment and resources. Projects previously supported include luncheon clubs, specialist equipment for disabled people, day trips and social trips for elderly or disabled people.

Decisions are normally made about three months after the closing date by the regional Community Co-ordinators who are based in Tesco stores across the UK. The closing date for applications for the current round for Elderly People and/or People with Disabilities is 30 September 2013. Full details can be found on the Tesco Charity Trust 

An esteemed researcher quantifying the impact of the arts on health...
Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation 
The Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation has announced that its grants making programme will re-open for applications on the 1st October 2013. The Foundation supports projects in children’s hospitals and hospices throughout the UK to enrich and enhance the lives of patients. Projects that could be considered by the Foundation include amongst others:
·  Arts, music, play and leisure programmes
·  Facilities to support families of children treated in hospitals or hospices
·  Care and facilities in hospices
·  Supporting children with physical and emotional difficulties
·  Medical equipment; etc. 

Idlewild Trust 
The Idlewild Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grant making programme is the 20th September 2013. The Idlewild Trust is a grant making trust that supports registered charities concerned with the encouragement of the performing and fine arts and crafts, the advancement of education within the arts and the preservation for the benefit of the public of lands, buildings and other objects of beauty or historic interest in the United Kingdom.

Clore Poetry & Literature Awards 
The Clore Duffield Foundation has announced that the sixth funding round under its £1 million programme to fund poetry and literature initiatives for children and young people across the UK is now open for applications. Through the programme, schools, FE colleges, community groups, libraries and other arts/cultural organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support participatory learning projects and programmes focused on literature, poetry and creative writing for under 19s. Read more at:

So we end, appropriately I hope, with a piece of work by Seamus Heaney who died on Friday. It's from his 2010 collection, Human Chain and is about his dad. Perfect.

The Butts
His suits hung in the wardrobe, broad
And short
And slightly bandy-sleeved,
Flattened back
Against themselves,
A bit stand-offish.
Stale smoke and oxter-sweat
Came at you in a stirred-up brew
When you reached in,
A whole rake of thornproof and blue serge
Swung heavily
Like waterweed disturbed. I sniffed
Tonic unfreshness,
Then delved past flap and lining
For the forbidden handfuls.
But a kind of empty-handedness
Transpired . . . Out of suit-cloth
Pressed against my face,
Out of those layered stuffs
That surged and gave,
Out of the cold smooth pocket-lining
Nothing but chaff cocoons,
A paperiness not known again
Until the last days came
And we must learn to reach well in beneath
Each meagre armpit
To lift and sponge him,
One on either side,
Feeling his lightness,
Having to dab and work
Closer than anybody liked
But having, for all that,
To keep working.