Learning from each other in Warrington – launching our intergenerational group.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we set up our first inter-generational group at Padgate Livewire Library. We were all a little nervous before. Would anybody come? How would they get on? What would they talk about?
Week 1: We needn’t have worried.They definitely sat in their own spaces at first, but as they chatted they naturally moved closer together in the room and became completely at ease. What would they talk about – we couldn’t stop them!! They covered everything from the pressures on young people to fit in and how loneliness can affect older people to the Eurovision Song Contest and the E.U. vote. They had so much in common despite their very different lifestyles. They agreed to learn from each other and meet up every 2 weeks. Highlights were when Kayleigh saw the non-smart phones the older people were using she couldn’t help herself ‘How can you survive without a phone.’! The young people went home first, and the first comment after they had gone was ‘Aren’t they lovely’! It couldn’t have gone any better.
Week 2: O.K. was last week a fluke? No it wasn’t – this week saw the young people learning how to knit and it was hilarious! Poor Charlotte couldn’t get the hang of it and had big holes in her garment. They all gave it a good go and had a great laugh along the way. These activities are also great for giving a platform for people of all ages to talk together.
We are now so hopeful that this is going to be a really successful project which will impart learning and new skills to all and will break down barriers.
What’s next? The young people have talked about learning life skills like money management and leaning to waltz for the school prom. The older people would like to learn more about smart phones and how to set up Skype. The young people joked that he would love to set them off on Call of Duty – well you never know!!!!