Welcome to Moments of Joy!

Find out more about how we are bringing joy and connection to the residents of Sheffield

The Age Better in Sheffield team launched Moments of Joy in March 2020, in response to Covid-19. As it became clear that the country would be going into a national lockdown, we knew that tackling loneliness and isolation was about to become more essential than ever. In 2015, we received finding from The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the Ageing Better programme – a partnership of programmes across the country dedicated to tackling loneliness and isolation amongst over 50s. Since our inception, our mission has been to “support people aged 50 and over to experience opportunities that are enjoyable, and that help to reduce loneliness and isolation”. Lockdown threatened every aspect of this mission, as we were all instructed to isolate, stay away from loved ones and stay indoors. This is why the Age Better team got creative, determined to continue bringing joy and connection to Sheffield’s over 50s, Moments of Joy was born.

“I love music and dance, being in the fresh air is amazing.”

Moments of Joy’s sole purpose is to “commission activities that are good for the mind, body and soul of older people across Sheffield as they experience self-isolation”. The starting point was to partner with Sheffield’s renowned arts and culture sector to commission artists to bring joy to Sheffield folk. So far this has involved Charlie the dancer, who leads wonderful dance sessions, live outdoor performances with musicians, and virtual gigs shown via laptops and tablets. South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) are the lead organisation for Age Better in Sheffield, a partnership which has proved valuable throughout the programme. SYHA have a number of extra-care scheme’s hosting hundreds of Sheffield residents aged over 50, so these extra-care schemes became the home of Moments of Joy.

“You ought to be prescribed on the NHS”

After almost a whole year of Moments of Joy, we’ve had reached 5 extra-care schemes, had 2,200 attendances, 110 events, 16 artists and 750 school children. The artists have varied from clarinettists, brass bands and a string trio, to an army of school children singing Christmas carols!

When the musicians and Charlie the dancer could no longer come into the schemes to perform, we introduced tea-trolley gigs. Tea-trolley gigs are virtual personalised performances in which artists record themselves performing a song, especially for the residents of extra-care schemes, staff in the schemes then go round the corridors with a tea-trolley, delivering a cuppa and a virtual performance.

Find out more about tea-trolley gigs here.

Watch Matt Hunt’s live saxophone performance at Brunswick Gardens here.

Here is a video telling the story of Moments of Joy  throughout 2020.