Thursday 2 June 2016, 21:12 | By

In the News May 2016 – All together now

CSL In The News

CSL were proud to have organised the recent European Commission-backed ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’ event in London. There, one of the (many insightful) delegate questions focused on the role of creativity in helping the health issues associated with our ageing populations.
This certainly struck a chord with CSL. Housing, technology, business, finance and care were all represented, but the role of creativity in helping Agile Ageing™, was still to be clarified.
That’s where CSL comes in. We work hard to track down and share stories of those improving lives with creativity – to raise their profile and help more people – and we think these stories from last month capture the essence of that goal. Read, and if you agree, share.


A man walks into a bar

First up is a story about a new documentary, which caused quite a stir at the recent ‘South by South West’ film festival in Austin, Texas.

It’s about comedy troupe ‘Asperger’s Are Us’, made up of four friends with Asperger’s who are challenging the status quo through something that would fill most people with abject terror, namely getting up on stage to make people laugh.

Having been together for around a decade, documentary maker Alex Lehmann was inspired to make a film about the group after reading an article on them which “changed everything that I had assumed about Asperger’s.”

The resulting film has helped place them on the brink of comedic success, preparing now for their first national tour this summer, showing that no matter what the convention might be, and what people might expect, there’s always more room for those with something to say. Much like choir leader Rosie Dow…


Seriously fun

In this great article in the Huffington Post, Dow asks the question, ‘why shouldn’t we have fun while dealing with serious health conditions like cancer‘? In fact, it’s the inspiration for her organisation Tenovus Cancer Care‘s ‘Sing With Us’ choir, which is thriving in the face of the perceived frivolousness of ‘enjoying yourself’ while dealing with serious illness.

She writes; “Many describe choir as a buzz like no other, which I think is down to them sharing fun they’re having with a big group of people who know and care about what they’ve been through.”

What’s more, she says that the effects of ‘having fun’ are not just anecdotal, but proven by research. A study carried out by Tenovus, Cardiff University and the Royal College of Music found that “…after three months in the choir, patients’ vitality, overall mental health and anxiety had improved and in non-patients choir participation improved anxiety.”

Take a read of both articles. They, and Dow’s enthusiasm for helping the thousands of people they say have walked through their doors, are changing people’s expectations of what they can achieve through coming together with others. Much like these ‘inclusive toy’s’ being promoted by a non-profit organisation in Brazil…


Brick by brick

Featured in a recent article that we shared from Ad Week, the toys are the result of a collaboration between a marketing agency and the non-profit Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind, to help create ‘braille bricks’ which are based on Lego pieces that ‘help blind children to read through play‘.

Even better, these toys have been released under a creative commons license to encourage other companies to get involved. The article says that “they are a form of play that can also include sighted children, thereby better integrating those with visual impairments, and expanding their support networks.”

Not normally a channel to simply promote the work of advertising agencies, this seems to be a great advert for different disciplines – in this case marketing, non-profits and manufacturing – to come together to make a big difference, helping those who might otherwise be excluded or miss out on creative practices, while having a lot of fun along the way. Collaboration surely is the only way for many of our big social challenges?


So if like us, you agree that stories like these need to be shared, then please do as we’ll continue to find them and promote the people and organisations making them happen. Also, if you don’t already, then do follow us on twitter and let us know if you hear of any people challenging the status quo in health, to help those with life limiting or long term conditions live a full and integrated life.