chapter  5
‘De-marginalising’ marginalised communities
The case of participatory arts events and the over 70s in rural Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom
WithAllan Stewart Jepson
Pages 17

This chapter presents a snapshot of a much larger longitudinal research project (Stadler, Jepson & Wood, 2018 in press; Wood, Jepson & Stadler, 2018 in press) which investigates the potential of arts events to reduce the psychosocial impacts of ageing in rural areas. Thus, the purpose here is to champion the rich qualitative narratives put forward by the over 70s after engaging with participatory arts events and examine the value of group arts activities. The chapter draws upon the author's previous research into the use of mixed methods design to investigate the psychosocial impacts faced by the over 70s. It concentrates on the rich qualitative post-experience narrative discussion that demonstrates how the over 70s in rural communities in Hertfordshire are currently marginalised. Interim findings are presented from reminiscence interviews through data captured and co-created in rural Hertfordshire villages (Codicote, Pirton, Stanstead Abbotts, Royston and Whitwell): findings are discussed in relation to psychosocial impacts - loneliness, isolation, inclusion, belonging, self-esteem and self-worth, with a particular focus upon mobility, loss of independence and autonomy. This chapter advocates the use of more ‘natural’ co-creative methods for use in tourism, hospitality and events research, which have the potential to better capture participants’ feelings, memories, behaviours and the meanings they place upon them.