The story of Moove & Groove began over 5 years ago when I was looking for new ways to create a social impact. The initial idea to use silent disco dance as a fundraising experience was the first step. Young people from all over Sydney started to dance with us and I could see the amazing physical and mental health benefits for everyone. Everyone was so happy and joyful after dancing with us, I knew this was only the beginning.
In 2016 I was studying Social Impact at UNSW focussing on physical and mental health issues in our seniors community as well as a sense of loneliness and isolation. Our class assignment was to develop an innovative concept to help alleviate these issues. Why not senior silent disco dancing? Everyone is still young at heart!
With the support of NSW government grants, music therapists and exercise physiologists the Moove & Groove program was created. An initial pilot study in the south of Sydney proved the concept worked and was needed in this sector. We now operate in locations across Sydney, Melbourne, The Gold Coast and in the UK. We extended the idea to dementia patients and developed a dementia specific program. We partnered with The Australian Catholic University ACU in 2019 to measure the outcomes of that program.
In early 2019 we started playing meditations at the end of our dance classes and this was very calming for people. Many of our class participants were also very happy and engaged to just sit and listen to the music at the end of our classes.
We also knew the clear and powerful benefits of reminiscence therapy and could see there was a way to deliver different content to create moments of audio reminiscence via the headphones.
We also knew there was a world of 30million podcasts out there and the older generation simply did not have access to as it was far too hard and too complex to find what they would like to listen to and then they needed to access it somehow, staff just did not have the time, equipment or expertise to do this.
We began to trial the idea of “Listening” with residents and would attend the Narrabeen RSL aged care faculties and sit and listen to specially selected podcasts and music with residents. We could instantly see that this was engaging to most residents and particularly engaging for dementia residents. Afterwards the listening sparked reminiscing conversations with residents.
From there we started building our LISTEN program with a team of editorial staff focussing on a content that would be suited to 65 year olds and up. We partnered with our early adopter partners Twlight Aged Care and RSL village Narabeen to continually iterate on the program.
This program is a world first and delivering real moments of joy and engagement.
Recently we have integrated our ACTIVE program into our platform to facilitate all of our clients being able to engage in the magic of Moove&groove Active via their TV screens.
Today our program makes an impact in so many seniors lives every day. We are excited to have a built a wonderful community of listeners and supportive staff in facilities across Australia. I have am proud of our amazing team here at Moove&Groove who have helped build this great social purpose organisation.
Alison Harrington – Founder and CEO