AESOP’s (Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose) vision is of a future when arts solutions for society’s problems are valued and available for all who need them. Currently the organisation is focused on the health and social care sectors. 

In 2015, the Foundation awarded AESOP a grant of £91,880 over one year towards the early development of its flagship Dance to Health initiative - an older people’s falls prevention programme, combining evidence-based physiotherapy with the creativity and energy of dance.


Key facts

£147,000 funded over 3 years

Dance to Health pilot scaled up to 63 programmes

Programmes reach 800 older people

The grant was used to support the codification of the practice; the evaluation work and the Research and Development for the next stage of the project. 

The following sustainable model was developed and piloted as a result of this support:

  1. Phase 1: a FaME – or Otago-based dance programme to improve strength and balance. Delivered by a nationally recognised dance agency and local host organisation expert, funded by the local CCG and/or public health authority
  2. Phase 2 – First six months of a maintenance programme to maintain strength and balance improvements. Participants and their families are supported to become a viable local Dance to Health group. 
  3. Phase 3: An ongoing locally organised, sustainable Dance to Health group receiving dance, falls and organisational support from AESOP, the local host and the dance agency.

In 2016, the Foundation a second grant of £31,472 towards three pilot Maintenance Programmes that would take place in Abingdon, Banbury and Southend. 

“Thanks to the Foundation’s sustained support, Aesop has been able to build Dance to Health from an idea to a substantial national programme. Sheffield Hallam University has concluded that ‘Dance to Health offers the health system a more effective and cost-effective means to address the issue of older people’s falls’. A 2019 survey commissioned by Aesop revealed that 74% of GPs now agree that public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution to the prevention agenda – up from 66% in 2018.”
Tim Joss, Aesop Chief Executive and Founder