Claremont’s approach is about being seen, witnessed, listened to, celebrated and supported. It is about genuine friendship and connection. It is about mattering.
To support this, Claremont provides a spectrum of activities relating to the arts, physical health and learning for people over the age of 55. It also offers low cost one-to-one psychotherapy and one-to-one art psychotherapy for anyone over the age of 18 in Islington.
In common with all the other Development Partners, Claremont attributes its success not just to what it does but to how it does it. Claremont’s approach is to work without imposing divisive hierarchical power structures that result in a culture of ‘them’ and ‘us.’
We wanted Claremont to be a place that we ourselves would want to visit and to which we would like to invite our friends and acquaintances. We wanted to be different from places where staff members, in unequal relationships, create neediness, anxiety and dependence on the part of their clients by being the rescuer or 'concerned sympathetic ear'.
Lucien-Paul Stanfield | CEO | Claremont Project
Claremont joined the Development Partner programme to further explore the full meaning and potential of a relational approach. The belief is that a real difference can be made when service providers approach people as equals, so Claremont was keen to join with other like-minded organisations to show that things can be done in another way.
Claremont is a founding member of Flourishing Lives, a growing coalition of currently 110 organisations working with older people in London. The coalition aims to create the resources for excellence in support for older people. It has developed a training programme and other expert resources on relational practice which are highly relevant for the Development Partner programme.
There are all kinds of people at Claremont. People who’ve been living rough as well as well-known academics.... just very different backgrounds. So people represent all kinds of walks of life.
Claremont group member
The regular weekly programme includes over 34 activities, ranging from art, music, literature, and fitness, to a huge variety of dance classes. There are free concerts, dance and music events, excursions, parties and short courses. Members are also welcome to come to Claremont to just sit, have a tea or coffee, read the papers and chat with others. Membership is free and class costs are kept low (typically around £2.00).