Intergenerational projects in the city
Contents page 3
What is Intergenerational Practice?
Writing Back University of Leeds Writing Back Project
Generation Squad Fall Into Place Community Theatre
The Fashionable Lounge Leeds Grand Theatre
Kissing it Better Kissing it Better
Decades of Youth Leeds Museums & Galleries
Secondhand Stories The Writing Squad
Adopt A Grandparent Moor Allerton Elderly Care (MAECare)
Sparking Memories M&S Company Archive
Looking Ahead Sage Project
Credits & Contacts
I was surprised at how able and willing to join in people with dementia were. My prejudgment of people with dementia was that they are shy and not interested in joining in however, once the session had started, many of the residents enjoyed the craft tasks. Leeds City College Student who took part in Sparking Memories 2
Foreword It’s so good to have this Leeds Generations United report which showcases some wonderful intergenerational projects in Leeds and demonstrates what can be achieved through this work. This is a time when all around us we hear talk of divisions in society, loneliness and barriers, and a loss of community. These projects, with the values they embody and the benefits they have brought to everyone involved show that all this is not inevitable. By working together creatively old and young can enjoy each other’s company, discover a new perspective on life and community, and find that so many of the stereotypes we develop about “other people” disappear as we get to know one another. Leeds has a history of excellence in intergenerational work. But every generation, whether of older or younger people, needs opportunities to discover for themselves the lessons of mutual cooperation, respect and understanding, in schemes invented for new times. In the face of budget pressures and social stress, it is not always easy to find the means to create these opportunities. But the projects illustrated here (and others in the planning stage) show that it can be done, with committed partnerships, energy, and imagination. Leeds aspires to be an Age Friendly City and to be a Child and Young People Friendly City. The hope in publishing this report is that Leeds citizens of every generation will come together to create a city for all ages — or, in the words of a participant in one of the featured projects, Second Hand Stories: “all of us making a story together.” Bronwen Holden, Trustee, Leeds Older People’s Forum Five years ago Leeds set out on its journey to become a Child Friendly City. As the network for third sector organisations working with children, young people and families Young Lives Leeds members understand that we can only deliver our Child Friendly ambitions if people from all generations pull together. In a perfect world every child and every older person would be settled in a caring family that surrounded them with warmth and energy and where there were always opportunities to share stories and experiences. In that world people of every age would look out for each other in their neighbourhood, helping people to thrive and make new friendships and connections. While we don’t live in a world where these things always happen spontaneously. The brilliant projects reported here, some of which involved Young Lives Leeds members, show that it’s possible to make spaces where people reach across the generations and touch each other’s lives. We shouldn’t underestimate how important these projects are for building the relationships that help people to connect, to grow and to feel part of a community. Ann Pemberton, Chair,Young Lives Leeds 3
What is Intergenerational Practice? ‘Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promotes greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the different generations have to offer each other and those around them.’ 1 Intergenerational practice isn’t a new concept; many organisations in Leeds have been quietly going about it for several years as it’s a wonderful way of bringing people together to learn, play, celebrate and share different life experiences. Young and old people are sometimes wary of each other but often soon find they have much in common and that their perceptions about each other are misplaced and there is much that they can learn from each other. Various research has shown that younger and older people are the two groups most affected by ageist attitudes and marginalisation in society. There are clear benefits to intergenerational work:2 ● Provide an opportunity for both to learn new skills ● Give the child and the older adult a sense of purpose ● Help to alleviate fears children may have of older adults ● Help children to understand and later accept their own ageing ● Invigorate and energise older adults ● Help reduce the likelihood of depression in older adults ● Reduce the isolation of older adults and younger people ● Fill a void for children who do not have grandparents available to them ● Help keep family stories and history alive ● Aide in cognitive stimulation as well as broaden social circles should a youth introduce technology into the life a senior The projects highlighted in this report show how far intergenerational projects have come since their early days. These projects aren’t about old people talking to or at young people or vice-versa but about people working together and feeling that they are part of something special. They demonstrate how they breaking down barriers between the generations leads to increased confidence and reducing social isolation (something that is damaging to people of all ages). This in turns improves people’s wellbeing as well as their physical and mental health. Research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day .3 1
Centre for Intergenerational Practice: Beth Johnson Foundation – www.centreforip.org.uk 2 http://www.bayshorehomecare.com/10-benefits-connecting-youth-seniors 3
Personally the biggest impact was realising that very quickly it ceased to be a workshop between older and younger people, and just became people working together creatively. Shaffa (student pen pal), Writing Back Project
As well as highlighting the positives the report also lists some of the stumbling blocks faced by the projects and how they would do things differently in the future to overcome these. The examples in this report represent just a snapshot of the work going on in Leeds, which is working towards World Health Organisation (WHO) status as an Age Friendly City. People of all ages should feel valued and part of the community and there is a strong desire to make this happen in this city. Coming Together Leeds is fortunate in that the city has a vibrant and innovative third sector which has good relationships with both the statutory and private sectors as well as artistic organisations such as local theatres. These different sectors regularly come together to work in partnership with each other, something which is demonstrated in this report. Leeds as a city regularly embraces partnership working across all sectors and age groups often in innovative ways. In true Yorkshire style the work nearly always represents great value for money. This seems to be very much the case with the projects highlighted in the report. Looking ahead There is new intergenerational work starting up all the time in Leeds. One scheme which is currently in the process of setting up is featured in this report. Leeds Older People’s Forum is always keen to hear from organisations which are doing inter-generational work and you don’t need to be an older people’s organisation to contact us just as long as your project involves older people you are welcome to get in touch. Hopefully some of you reading this will even be inspired to set up your own intergenerational project. Anything that brings people together in a positive way and leaves them feeling better for being a part of something has to be worthwhile and worth celebrating.
Leeds Older People’s Forum Would like to thank all the projects which took part in this report and our partners Leeds City Council, Young Lives Leeds and Child Friendly Leeds.
Dr Georgina Binnie, Founder of Writing Back Where/When
Participants are recruited from across Leeds and Yorkshire. The scheme has been running since September 2014.
Writing Back is a volunteer letter-writing project that matches undergraduate students as pen pals with older Yorkshire residents.
Partners: Archival organisations: Special Collections at the Brotherton Library, ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles, M&S Company Archive, Leeds Libraries and the West Yorkshire Archive Service. Funding Assistance The project has been variously funded by a Leeds for Life Foundation Grant, The Footsteps Fund: Making a World of Difference Campaign and the School of English and Faculty of Arts Humanities and Culture at the University of Leeds
Having volunteered as a befriender at Halcyon Court Care Home, and regularly exchanged letters with my grandma, I saw that there might be an opportunity within my department to encourage cross-generational communication between students and the older population. Pen pals are matched up based on common interests. Stamps and stationery are provided and all letters are sent via the University. We hold a celebratory lunch meet-up at the end of each year. Our participants continuously challenge stereotypes surrounding student living and ageing. As one of our student pen pals attests, “There seems to be a certain degree of stigma around having friends that are quite a lot older… but they (my pen pal) became exactly that – friends.”
Benefits Recent research from the University of York suggests that lonely people are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke or develop heart disease. Loneliness doesn’t just affect older people. A 2010 study by the Mental Health Foundation found that 18 to 34 year olds were more likely to feel lonely more often as well. Writing Back targets loneliness in both of these demographics by pairing students as pen pals with older Yorkshire residents. By matching students with older people from across Yorkshire, a new and profoundly unique friendship is created. Writing a letter can facilitate dialogue, foster emotional wellbeing and ease social isolation. Our project is cost and time-effective, with pen pals exchanging letters with one another approximately every two weeks and all costs being covered. Writing Back has huge social benefits for both parties, particularly when aiding the smooth transition of students from sixth form to university. Our students are provided with copies of historic photographs of Yorkshire by our archival partners. This use of archives encourages a mutual exchange of stories, as our older participants share their knowledge of Yorkshire in return.
It may seem strange! But I think we can bridge the gap of our ages, long may this friendship last. Joyce (Older pen pal)
I feel especially now it is important that the generation gap be bridged as, much as people would like to think there is, there is not much difference between us. Shaffa (Joyce’s student pen pal)
Anything which didn’t work? Due to data protection, all letters are sent via the University, with only myself having access to participant’s addresses during the course of the scheme. Whilst pen pals can choose to exchange details with one another after our meet-up event, the long holiday periods can sometimes cause a delay in correspondence. The project seeks to tackle loneliness in students and older people but the loneliest members of society can be hard to reach. I would always welcome suggestions as to how I can continue to expand the project, along with receiving older referrals. 7
It’s such a great idea getting young and old ages staying up to date with how they’re tackling life. Writing to my student friend change[s] my day-today way of living. Pat (older pen pal)
Older people referrals Writing Back received referrals from the following organisations in 2016/17: ● Leeds Libraries
● Otley Action for Older People
● West Yorkshire Archive Service
● Age UK North Yorkshire
● Caring Together in Little London & Woodhouse
● Leeds Irish Health and Homes
● Middleton Elderly Aid
● Bramley Elderly Action
● Moor Allerton Elderly Care
● Leeds Irish Health & Homes
● Ellerton Lunch Club
● Connect Well
● St. Michael and All Angels Church
● Old Farnley Action
● Roundhay Tea & Chat
● People in Action
● Carers News
Sarah Goodyear, Director of Fall Into Place Community Theatre Where/When
We bring together older people (55+) and young people (14 – 25) to create performances. We rehearse weekly, playing games and improvising. The hope of this is to break down barriers between old and young, form new friendships, increase confidence and reduce isolation in both generations.
The project ran a pilot from May-Sept 2015. It then started running January 2017 and will continue until December 2017 unless more funding/income can be found to keep it going longer term. Partners: Fall into Place Community Theatre & University of Leeds ‘Writing Back’ Project.
We particularly encourage people who have never acted before, live alone, and have mobility issues to join us, and we have a dementia friendly choir as part of our performance. We do two performances a year for the local community.
Funding Assistance Fall Into Place applied for Lloyds Social Enterprise Scheme and was awarded a placement on the course and £4,000 to start the project up. We are also expected to receive another £1,200 from a similar interest community theatre company that is disbanding and donating some of their leftover assets to us. 10
Benefits Reduced isolation and opportunity to meet and form friendships across generations is a huge benefit to participants. These are two age groups that don’t often get the opportunity to interact anymore, but who really benefit from learning and being creative together. Participants have reported increased confidence, reduced anxiety particularly in groups, a great deal of fun and enjoyment, and a strong bond with the participants, stating they feel ‘like a family.’ Drama is a fun, interactive way to form friendships without the pressure of having to make conversation – this comes naturally through the sessions.
Four months of fun I will remember forever. Older person, 77 It’s been great meeting everyone, meeting the local community. I’m really glad I got involved, I’m loving it. Student, 17
Anything which didn’t work?
Cost of transport is an issue – we cover travel expenses for participants who cannot themselves attend otherwise due to mobility and high cost of taxis. To reach these people (often most isolated) covering travel expenses is a big factor in if they will attend. Students can be less reliable, attending sessions more sporadically than the older ones, which slows down getting to know each other well. Also, we were keen to involve people with dementia, however we found those in the later stages struggled to keep up/focus on the drama activities. This is why we developed the dementia friendly choir.
The Fashionable Lounge
Laura Cope, Learning Officer, Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Where/When
The intergenerational project was a one-day event with our regular group The Fashionable Lounge.
We invited 11 students from Kippax Ash Tree Primary School to come in and spend an afternoon with the Fashionable Lounge group with the aim to encourage young people to spend more time with the older generation.
The Fashionable Lounge is an arts and social group who meet once a month, made up of retired people aged from aged 50 to over 90. We meet in the circle bar of the Victorian Music Hall; City Varieties. Partners: Kippax Ash Tree Primary School and Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House. Funding Assistance Leeds Older Peopleâ€™s Forum gave us a small pot of funding for our event.
Laura from the Learning Team at City Varieties went into school to brief the students on what to expect during the session and to teach them interviewing techniques the week before. When the pupils arrived, we played some games so we all felt comfortable with each other. The pupils and the members of the Fashionable Lounge then got paired up and the pupils interviewed members of the group about their lives. The questions were mainly about what childhood was like when we were young. The pupils then presented back their findings by way of pictures, factsheets and acting out scenes. Laura then took the pupils outside and they chose one story from Jack, one of the Fashionable Lounge members. Jack had fought in the war and the children found this very interesting and asked him lots of questions about it. 12
They then came in and presented his story through still images. Members of the Fashionable Lounge had to then guess which story they had chosen. We all had a fantastic afternoon and when Laura asked for words to describe the afternoon the pupils and members of Fashionable Lounge came up with many including ‘really fun’, ‘educational’, ‘excellent’, ‘interesting’ and ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.’ Benefits The objectives of the session were to give young people the opportunity to do something fun with the older generation and to highlight the benefits of spending time with older people. The pupils learnt a lot about what childhood was like for the older generation and enjoyed learning about their lives. They particularly liked the interview task and felt as though they were leading the session which was great to see.
When the group leader asked for words to describe the afternoon the pupils and members of Fashionable Lounge came up with many including: ‘really fun’, ‘educational’, ‘excellent’ ‘interesting’ and ‘supercalifragilistice xpialidocious’!
The members of the Fashionable Lounge had a great afternoon with the pupils and were made to feel valued by the young people. The project also helped breakdown stereotypes of both older and younger people. One comment from the older group was how well behaved and engaged the pupils were, something which was surprising to some. Anything which didn’t work? Transport and getting members of the Fashionable Lounge to the venue is always challenging. The access bus is often booked up and taxis are unreliable. The bar area at City Varieties was great at creating a social & informal atmosphere during the session but it would have been nice to have a little more space.
Kissing it Better Susan Walls, Kissing It Better Where/When
SLIC-the South Leeds Independence Centre in Beeston.
Kissing it Better runs two intergenerational programmes in Leeds, allowing young people to light up the day for older people who’ve been unwell and may be feeling lonely or vulnerable.
CICU-a rehabilitation unit for older people at St James' Hospital. In June 2015, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust commissioned Kissing it Better (KiB) to run a flagship project at SLIC, with a view to extending the programme into other Trust units. The scheme has been running since September 2016. Partners: Kissing it Better, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, South Leeds Independence Centre, St James’ Hospital & St Mary’s Hospital.
The flagship project is at the South Leeds Independence Centre in Beeston, a live-in unit for older people who need extra care after being discharged from hospital. Every weekday morning, students from all over the city arrive to help SLIC’s patients regain their independence and feel part of the world again. They offer a range of projects including music, art, poetry, animal visits and reminiscence sessions. All Kissing it Better projects are individually created to meet the needs of patients, while taking into account the particular skills of student volunteers.
Benefits It’s now widely accepted that emotional healing is a crucial part of physical healing. There’s little point in fixing someone’s femur if their spirit is broken. At SLIC, young people bring laughter, fun and friendship into the unit every day, which helps build confidence and encourages therapeutic relationships. Sarah Crabtree, Clinical Unit Manager at SLIC: “Patients have the opportunity to be involved in arts that they have never seen before, and listen to talented young people just starting out on their life journey. When students leave the patients continue to communicate with each other and form friendships – this all helps with the rehab process. Happy patients get better more quickly!” Michele Cale, Leeds City Council: “The service contributes to each person’s wellbeing and enables them to gain more confidence to adapt to the change in circumstances. In turn, this confidence allows them to recover at greater speed and reduces their dependency on the unit they are in.” Anything which didn’t work? Susan Walls from Kissing it Better says: ‘The projects work because of the quality of students we engage. We get the best students because we offer the best experience – every moment students spend with us is carefully planned and supported; each day’s session is meticulously designed to meet the needs of the patients, who change regularly. This isn’t a problem, but it is a lot of hard work! Our main problem is getting students to and from the project in Beeston, especially university students who have limited time for volunteering we do spend a lot of money on taxi fares.
Thank you for letting me be involved in Kissing it Better this year. I have loved spending time with the older patients and hearing the amazing stories of their lives. Daphne Papaioannou, Psychology Undergraduate, University of Leeds The girls are funny because they like to hear stories about our soldier boyfriends. Romance happened very quickly during the war and this seems to interest them. Emily Gillard, 92
Decades of Youth
Patrick Bourne, Assistant Community Curator, Abbey House Museum Angela Thompson,Youth Engagement Officer, Abbey House Museum Where/When
Project duration: Feb-July 2016
The purpose of this project was to produce an exhibition exploring what it was like to be a young person growing up in different decades, from the postwar period to present.
Museum exhibition: July-Dec 2016. Areas of Leeds incorporated within outreach and/or exhibition content: Armley, Beeston, Burley, City Centre, Cookridge, Harehills, Horsforth, Kirkstall, Potternewton, Woodhouse. Partners: Leeds Museums and Galleries; The Vintage Youth Club; Bramley Elderly Action; SAA-UK; Angel of Youths; Caring Together (Woodhouse & Little London); individual participants â€“ Maureen Kershaw, Mark Saville, Khadijah Ibrahiim, Marie Hewlett, Andrew McCann, Nicky Midgley, Ellen Dickson, Scum. Funding Assistance Funded through Arts Council England.
Abbey House Museum worked with a group of young people (The Vintage Youth Club) to curate a display which explored themes of education and employment, lifestyle, music and fashion. In the process the group had chance to chat to people of different generations about their experiences of growing up. Members of older generations were given the chance to reflect on their own experiences and compare and contrast them with the experiences of young people today. The finished exhibition explored these themes through filmed interviews, photographs, quotes, museum objects and items loaned in by participants including photographs, records and autographs.
Benefits The project allowed genuine intergenerational engagement. Members of The Vintage Youth Club were able to hear first-hand about the experiences of members of Caring Together (Woodhouse and Little London) and Bramley Elderly Action Reminiscence Group. Likewise older people were able to reminisce freely about their lives as young people from schooling and working to getting ‘made up’ and going out ice-skating or dancing. One extremely helpful contributor was Maureen Kershaw, a life-long Leeds resident, who was interviewed by Vintage Youth Club members Megan Jones and Emily Wells about going out to pop concerts in Leeds and working in her first job in the 1960s. Maureen provided first-hand oral histories about her experiences, which were made into digistories. Maureen, Megan and Emily have since formed lasting friendships. The project also allowed for other groups of young people (South Asian Arts UK and Angel of Youths) to engage with the topic of changes and similarities between their generation and others. The topic of music was a particularly strong one. Contributors remembered the records they bought through the year from 1970s punk (Mark Saville) to 1980s reggae (Khadijah Ibrahiim) which provided a good contrast with footage of current contenders performing in Kirkstall Abbey’s annual Battle of the Bands. Continued on page 18
The experience of putting on the exhibition was so valuable to my understanding of what it is to work in a museum, and also as someone that’s moved to Leeds (fairly) recently from a different area, it was a great way to learn more about the city’s history too. And of course, I forged some great friendships along the way! Megan Jones, The Vintage Youth Club
The launch event, held on the morning of 23rd July 2016 saw a real coming together of all the generations involved in the project. An event to tie-in with the exhibition held on International Youth Day (12th August 2016) provided an extra opportunity for members of different generations to join in a day of dressing up and retro make-up, which also featured performances of music across the decades by young people. ● Megan Jones gained valuable first hand museum experience. She is now Leeds Museums and Galleries’ new Digital Officer. ● Emily Wells is now a mentor for new members of the Vintage Youth Club. The group co-curated another exhibition, entitled ‘Comics Unmasked’ for Abbey House Museum, which ran until 16 July 2017. Abbey House Museum continue to work closely with Caring Together and Bramley Elderly Action on other projects. To find out more or to get in touch with us about The Vintage Youth Club, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The enthusiasm of the Vintage Youth Group and supportive Museum staff as we shared ideas for the exhibition was fun, interesting and so rewarding. To see the achievements of the young team at the Launch was exciting and I felt honoured and proud to be part of the whole experience!” Maureen Kershaw, project participant
Anything which didn’t work? The time-limited nature of the project due to individual commitments (three months preparation) plus the huge potential scope of the topic for what was a comparatively small display limited the ability to include more. A longer lead-in time and a slightly larger space would have allowed the subject to be displayed in greater depth. In retrospect the exhibition could have benefited from being in-situ for longer than five months. This is something we have learned from. Abbey House Museum now has a larger community gallery, and we are already involved planning youth and community displays of longer durations in 2019 and beyond. Perhaps due to the nature of some of the audience, social media callouts asking for general reminiscences on ‘their era’ did not result in as strong a response.
Steve Dearden, Director, The Writing Squad Where/When
July 23rd 2016 at the Headingley Heart Centre.
The writer Malika Booker took a group of Young at Arts participants and emerging writers from the Writing Squad round the charity shops of Headingley. They each had £10 to spend.
Partners: The Writing Squad, Yorkshire Dance Young at Arts. Funding Assistance Jointly funded by the Writing Squad and Yorkshire Dance Young at Arts, Time to Shine. Time to Shine is managed by Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst people over 50.
We went back to the Heart Centre in Headingley and discussed what people had bought, which was often surprising, the young writers buying what you would expect an older person to buy and vice versa! Then, in groups of four or five, we used the objects to create stories that we told each other which ranged from a murder mystery to an epic seaborne adventure.
Leeds is one of 14 Ageing Better areas, selected from an original 100 in England. LOPF secured £6 million from Big Lottery Fund to reach more than 15,000 older people in the city by 2021. Photos by Steve Dearden 20
“ Benefits The main benefit to the Young at Arts contributors was the simplicity of being creative, several people said, “I didn’t know I could be so creative just out of my own head”. Without paints and canvases, or lights and scripts, just imagination, which inspired by a few objects, can set off great trains of the imagination, resulting in surprising stories. For the young writers from the Writing Squad, this was their first experience of an intergenerational writing workshop, so in professional development terms it was a chance to add new skills to their portfolio as working writers. Personally the biggest impact was realising that very quickly it ceased to be a workshop between older and younger people, and just became people working together creatively. The other thing it did for them, and in a reflective way for the Young at Arts participants, was show that people have lives, and that adventure, travel, experiences and difference are not the sole territory of the young!
It is an abalone shell pendant, it is alive now and connects me with other people all over the world through the sea. Young at Arts participant What surprised me was I stopped thinking it was us working with them, very quickly it was just all of us making a story together. Writing Squad participant This is the first time I have seen my daughter work, it is so lovely to see how creative she is, and I will take some of the things we have done today back to my community. Malika’s Mum
Adopt a Grandparent
Barbara Bailey, Project Worker Community Connections, MAECare Where/When
The project covers LS17 â€“ Shadwell, Alwoodley and North Moortown. The project funding started in April 2015 and runs until March 2018.
The Community Connections project is looking at three different ways to help reduce social isolation amongst older people.
One way is through linking the generations and exploring the very special relationship that exists between young and old. MAECare is involved with a penpal scheme with a local primary school and an Adopt a Grandparent scheme.
Moor Allerton Elderly Care Funding Assistance The Adopt a Grandparent scheme is a component of the Community Connections project funded by The Tudor Trust.
The Adopt a Grandparent scheme is connecting older people who have no regular contact with family or grandchildren, with families who, for whatever reason, do not have an older person in their lives. To date, we have three families linked with three of our members. 22
Benefits The Adopt a Grandparent scheme has proved to have an enormous benefit over the three generations – child, parent and “grandparent”. We know that grandparents can build up such wonderful relationships within families. We also know that young people do miss having an older person in their lives. However, we have found that relationships are developing across all three generations with everyone gaining something from the relationship. Everyone likes to feel that they have something of value to offer and we all like to be needed. This is certainly the case with the Adopt a Grandparent scheme. The young people bring something to the lives of the older person. The parents seem to benefit from having an older person around. The older person can offer time and someone for the young person to talk to outside of the immediate family. For those older people who may never have had a family it’s a chance to attend sports days, join in with birthday celebrations and all of those other familial events that we perhaps take for granted. There seems to be a great deal of fun and humour emerging from our three burgeoning relationships.
I think she might feel happier. She came to our sports day and was cheering. She’d never been to a sports day before. She’s our family now. ‘ Grandchild’
I thought it was for the boys to benefit. But we’d lost our parents too. As a mother, it is good to confide in someone else! ‘Parent ‘
We anticipate that the relationships established now will be long lasting and will develop and change over the years. Anything which didn’t work? The project is being developed fairly informally. This immediately raises concerns with some people around safeguarding checks and controls. This may be a barrier for some people.
At a time when I was low following my bereavement, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I change things in my diary to fit. It has filled the emptiness in my life and I feel happier’ ‘Grandparent ‘
Sparking Memories Katie Cameron, Archive and Outreach Officer, M&S Company Archive Where/When
The project ran for eight weeks ending in July 2017.
The M&S Company Archiveâ€™s collection is full of objects and images that can be used in reminiscence therapy; working with groups of different ages can uncover new ways of looking at and using the collection.
Partners: Leeds City College, Simon Marks Care Home. Funding Assistance The project was funded by M&S Company Archive.
We brought together A-Level students from Leeds City College and residents from Simon Marks Court. Over eight weeks the group explored objects from the M&S Company Archive, and created a collaborative archive-inspired artwork to go on display at the care home. The artwork was unveiled in a grand finale, with friends, relatives and the studentsâ€™ tutors in attendance. The Sparking Memories project was a continuation of a partnership between the M&S Company Archive and Anchor Homes including Simon Marks Court and Halcyon Court.
Benefits The older people enjoyed the opportunity to have more meaningful engagement with young people, to share their stories with others and to have stimulation and engagement outside their normal routine. The group also gained a sense of achievement by contributing to an artwork that is now displayed at the care home, and a temporary exhibition displayed at the M&S Company Archive. The pride that the older participants felt at seeing their work on display was evident. Participants were eager to show relatives and friends the work they’d done, and were excited that members of the public would see their work. Before the students’ arrival at the home each week some residents were reluctant to participate, however once the students arrived, we saw residents become much more engaged and interested. The students were able to spend time one-on-one with the residents, ensuring relationships were built over a period of several weeks.
I didn’t realise people with dementia could still laugh and joke. Leeds City College Student I went to college to study art, but I haven’t done anything like this in a long time. Resident at Simon Marks Court
We were really pleased with the students’ reaction to the project. They’d learnt a lot about people with dementia in a short space of time, and the sessions had challenged their perceptions of dementia and older people in general. We’d hoped the project would help the students with their future plans. So far, two are volunteering in a care home as a result of the project, and another is planning a creative project based on his experiences. What would we do differently? Originally we wanted the students to devise the activities themselves. However, as the students were from sciencebased rather than creative courses it was felt this would take up too much of their time which could be better spent in the care home. Next time we’d like to invite students from a wider range of courses to take part, so they can plan the activities and final piece before delivering it. Feedback from the students indicates that they would have liked the project to last for longer, to let them have even more time in the care home. This wasn’t practical from an M&S staff point of view, but students were encouraged to keep up contact with Simon Marks Court and it’s something we will try to factor in if we run the project again. 25
When we sent out the request for examples of intergenerational work we were contacted by the Sage Project who have plans for intergenerational work which it was felt was worth highlighting.
Sage Project Yorkshire MESMAC Jude Woods, Community Development Worker, Sage Project Yorkshire MESMAC is doing intergenerational work within their Sage Project. They think this work is very important for LGBT communities as their culture has become quite age stratified and people of all ages tell them that they want to have more opportunities for cross-age interactions. They discussed this and the Steering Group came up with the following statement. Sage Project Intergenerational Activities Intergenerational connections have many benefits for all involved; however there is a risk that older people could be marginalised within these environments. In order to maintain positive inclusion of older people the Sage Steering Group recommends that these guidelines are followed: ● The project will provide a range of activities: some will be just for older (50+) LGBT people and some will be for LGBT adults of any age (18+). ● The decision about which activities will be intergenerational will be taken by the Steering Group. ● All activities (whether intergenerational or not) will be totally accessible to older LGBT people. ● Sage intergenerational activities will include LGBT older people in leadership roles. ● Sage intergenerational activities must have either equal numbers of people under and over 50 or more people over 50. ● Yorkshire MESMAC will integrate these principles into other appropriate areas of work and services. The Sage Project aims to tackle the social isolation faced by older LGBT*Q people. It is a partnership project between Yorkshire MESMAC and AgeUK Leeds. It is part of the Time to Shine programme to address the social isolation faced by older people and is led by Leeds Older People’s Forum. 26
Credits & Contacts Leeds Older Peopleâ€™s Forum would like to thank the following organisations for their contribution to the Generations Together Writing Back University of Leeds Writing Back Project 3
Generation Squad Fall into Place Community Theatre
The Fashionable Lounge Leeds Grand Theatre
Kissing it Better Kissing it Betterpage 6
Decades of Youth Leeds Museums & Galleries
Dr Georgina Binnie, Impact and Research Fellow (Writing Back Project) G.E.Binnie@leeds.ac.uk | 0113 343 6189 (Tuesdays and Fridays) Sarah Goodyear, Director of F.I.P email@example.com Laura Cope, Learning Officer, Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd Laura.Cope@leedsgrandtheatre.com | 0113 391 7783 Susan Walls firstname.lastname@example.org Patrick Bourne, Assistant Community Curator, Abbey House Museum Patrick.Bourne@leeds.gov.uk Angela Thompson, Youth Engagement Officer, Leeds Museums & Galleries Angela.Thompson@leeds.gov.uk
Steve Dearden, Director, Writing Squad email@example.com | 07939 561295
Adopt A Grandparent
Barbara Bailey, Project Worker, Community Connections 0113 266 0371 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Cameron, Archive and Outreach Officer M&S Company Archive, Leeds 020 8718 9877 email@example.com
The Writing Squad 12
Moor Allerton Elderly Care (MAECare)page
M&S Company Archive Intergenerational Project
Sage Project Yorkshire Mesmac
Jude Woods, Community Development Worker, Sage Project, Time To Shine firstname.lastname@example.org | 0113 244 4209
Rachel Cooper, Jim Garside & Sean Tunnicliffe
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