The Ideas Hub is working closely with Other Halves, a local charity supporting the carers of those living with dementia, and with a number of other local organisations and the community to develop projects to reduce loneliness in Chelmsford.

Working with the community, local organisations, and the Local Authorities, we are aware of the scale of the challenge to tackle loneliness in the City, including in care homes and specifically late stage dementia patients.

The elderly population in Chelmsford is expected to increase from 32,700 in 2015 to 40,100 in 2025 with the number of people living with dementia by 2030 expected to rise by 66%”.  Source:

See also;


2016 – today: Providing a space to Other halves on 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month to run art and coffee support sessions in the community

2019: working with an A’level DT student from St John’s Payne to develop an art & music and tech (arduino) product design for care homes to stimulate late stage dementia. 

2019: Helped ‘Other Halves’ with a successful grant application for a ‘Micro-Grant’

 According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 10% of under 25s feel lonely with “19.5% of children living in a city reported “often” feeling lonely, compared with just over 5% of those living in either towns or rural areas.” Source:

The Ideas Hub is working with other local organisations, including schools, to develop projects focussed on preventing and talking about both loneliness and mental health.  The projects developed are based on gaps assessed from feedback from the community including schools, parents and  the young people (from 5 to 25) themselves. This work includes but not exclusively:

  • Projects on Mental Health (ie Year 6 to year 7 transition)
  • Developing young people’s skills with a particular focus on STEAM for long term better life opportunities and hence  long term wellbeing
  • Developing dance projects designed to generate life long behavioural changes re exercise hence  better Long Term Mental Health and well being

All the projects are developed working closely with:

  • local schools and youth groups,
  • Partnerships with Chelmsford YMCA, EMAN, MENCAP, Hindu Society etc
  • Chelmsford College, Writtle University college, Colchester college and Anglia Ruskin University

Note: See the insights in the ONS’s report on ‘Qualitative research with children and young people’ which matches the feedback we have received our own local young people.


The Ideas Hub is a registered Arts Award organisation. The Ideas Hub also works closely with French and German exchange groups throughout the year.


  • Summer work experience project: “1919-2019: 100 years of Mental Health – From Shell shock to Now,” thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £10,000.

A group of 15 students spent a week in August working with a professional historian looking into the Essex Record Office’s archives for documentary evidence of Mental Health. The students then worked over 6 weeks to create an animated film about their research. A second group of 4 students spent 8 weeks composing and recording the music for the film, with the unexpected opportunity to be guided by internationally renowned composer Joseph Metcalf (the composer for the Disney film ‘The King’s Daughter’, having started by composing the music for George Orwell’s Animal Farm at the tender age of 14).

Both groups of students are being supported to screen the film in an assembly at their respective schools, opening talks on Mental Health. Link to film to come soon….

  • Chelmsford Light Parade

The Ideas Hub worked for 2 months with 2 schools: Parkwood Academy and Lawford Mead School making Light Lanterns. The pupils made all the decisions about the lantern making and designed and created their own beautiful lanterns. This project is a great example of a STEAM project. The pupils worked with artists to build the structure of the lanterns and were then supported by coding specialists and an engineer to programme the lights and create the platforms to carry/ transport the largest of the designs. The children were empowered to make their own decisions and were supported to engage with their community.

Extra one-day workshops were run with pupils of Saint Pius X and Kings Road schools.

The schools are situated in the top 10% of the most deprived areas in UK and the project offered the pupils the opportunity to be empowered, to grow in confidence, and to create positive life-long memories.

The ideas Hub feels it is important to bring the projects to the schools to ensure it reaches all pupils indiscriminately. The project was supported by a Ragdoll Foundation grant of £6,000.

The Ideas Hub also worked with local youth groups and the Chelmsford Child and Family Wellbeing Centre. The North Avenue Youth Group won the prize for best youth lantern.


For the first ever Chelmsford Light Parade, The Ideas Hub worked Trinity Primary School as well as local youth groups to create and “electrify” lanterns.


  • The YMCA’s Young Careers group worked with commissioned artists Victoria Button and Nick Haydon to create a mural for Chelmsford Railway station celebrating Chelmsford’s Marconi Heritage. The project was sponsored by Abeillo Railway and Essex County Council.
  • Provided activities for the National Citizen Service (NCS)
  • Supported the annual Essex Schools Showcase for the Arts: