An award winning charity based in Penryn has won over a quarter-of-a-million pounds in funding for a new programme aimed at older people.

Arts for Health Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, based at Jubilee Wharf, is one of only four successful applicants to be selected by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation for funding for the Arts and Older People Programme.

The £256,200 will go towards a three year programme of work which will see AFHC establish Home Service, a collaboration between major arts organisations from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The programme will explore how high quality creative arts can engage, invigorate and give a voice to older people in residential settings.

A government survey has shown that, despite the positive impact the arts can have on the physical, mental and social well-being of older people, over 75-year-olds have a much lower engagement in the arts than other age groups. The new programme aims to address this and provide a bridge between older people and the wider community.

Partners in the project include Creativity Works, Wren Music, Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, KEAP and Hall for Cornwall.

Falmouth University will take the lead on the evaluation as AFHC intends to share its findings nationally and ensure the work continues long after the initial project is complete.

Jayne Howard, director of AFHC, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been awarded this funding and can’t wait to get started on an exciting programme of work with all our partners.

“We believe that older people living in care homes have the right to engage with the arts and cultural opportunities on offer to the rest of the community and this funding provides a fantastic opportunity to see that happen here in Cornwall and other part of the South West.”

John Bastin, chair of AFHC, added: “The awarding of this funding is excellent news and means we can make a significant impact on the way older people living in care homes, have the same cultural stimulation as the wider community. This project and its funding also puts Arts for Health Cornwall and Isles of Scilly on the national map for its progressive and innovative thinking.”

Phil Gibby, South West director for Arts Council England, said: “Arts for Health Cornwall has an impressive track record in leading innovative high quality arts projects that really benefit people’s physical, emotional and mental health and for this project they have put together a very exciting new partnership of leading arts organisations and practitioners to deliver a range of high quality arts opportunities for older people living in care.

“This project has the potential to have a significant long-term impact by establishing best practice for arts and older people and we are delighted to be supporting it.”