2016 Intergenerational Network Awards

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In February, we celebrated intergenerational activities at Ramside Hall in County Durham at our 2016 Intergenerational Network Awards event.

It was very well attended and highlighted the excellent Intergenerational work taking place throughout the county.

Although our shortlisted nominees are all unique, they do have a couple of things in common, they bring older and younger people together to increase understanding of each other’s generations, resulting in increased social inclusion and through meaningful activities young people increase their self-confidence and learn new skills.

The awards were presented by Age UK County Durham’s Chief Executive Harriet Gibbon and David Haw, Chair of the Trustees.

David said “The quality of nominations was very high indeed. It was a pleasure to see what wonderful work is going on. We heard how young and older people are involved together in choirs, activities, crafts, heritage and friendship to strengthen communities.  It is clear that Age UK County Durham continues to lead the way in brining older and younger people together. It was encouraging to see how many of them have achieved success in their activities following the training and support delivered by our Intergenerational Programme Coordinator and Mid Durham Intergenerational Project Development Worker.”

And the winners were……

Best intergenerational Project

Joint Winners (The judges were very impressed)

The Hermitage Academy, Chester le Street

Hermitage HGThe Intergenerational Mentoring Project is a unique opportunity to bring teenagers and older people together through participation in innovative activities. Frequently, younger and older people are the most affected by marginalisation in our society and this project strives to break down the barriers faced. The Hermitage School continually liaises on how to work more effectively to reach out to the school’s local community with the aim of further improving the perceptions and relationships between the two generations. They said, “This project is proving significantly beneficial in promoting citizenship, enhancing self-esteem and helping to establish a respectful community. The development of knowledge, skills and understanding is a two-way process. Through working together in a mentoring relationship, the two generations can help to build positive communities that benefit from reduced crime and antisocial behaviour.”

 

St. Aidan’s College Interfaith Befriending Scheme, Durham University

St Aidan CollegeDr. Mahshid Turner coordinates the Durham University Interfaith Befriending scheme. Nassiba Benferdi, a PhD student at Durham University, currently leads the project. Nassiba, Mahshid and other volunteers have been visiting St. Margaret’s care home most Mondays or Tuesday afternoons where they have been able to chat and socialise with the residents.

They told us “Through this project we truly believe we have helped to break down, language, cultural, race and age barriers. The opportunity to just sit and talk to older people as friends has helped to break down assumptions about ‘foreigners’ and those from different races and religions. By befriending older people in this way, our young students have also gained confidence and learned about British culture.”

 

Best Intergenerational school – Deaf Hill primary school, Trimdon Station

Deaf HillThe ‘Intergenerational Project’ that started at Deaf Hill Primary School in October 2015 has been a remarkable success. The Head Teacher said “After initially not knowing anything about the Intergenerational Programme, I have been overjoyed with its impact, not only on the children in Year 6, but on the school, staff and wider community and hopefully the volunteers. One of the most rewarding aspects of this project has been the relationships and respect that has developed between the children and the volunteers throughout the time spent together.”

The children look forward to Wednesday afternoon and the volunteers enjoy it also – as they keep coming back. The atmosphere is relaxed, the conversations are easy and I believe the children see the volunteers as friends. They have benefited from their patience and kindness and as a result, the children have learned new skills, which they can use and develop in the future.

Best Intergenerational Community Group – Brandon Carrside Youth and community project

BBYPThese are some fantastic young people who have completed accredited Intergenerational Volunteering training this has helped them to work with young and older people in their community.

The group interact well together, sharing experience and stories and having a laugh together usually over a pot of tea and a bite to eat. The young people ask to plan activities and events for the group and have made lifelong friends by being involved in planning, delivery and evaluating the events. This has produced lifelong friendships, built bridges between the ages, combatted social isolation for older community members and the young people have gained qualifications.

This is a group who would never normally mix, networks have been made, older people are delighted to have an interest outside their home and feel safer knowing the young people they have nothing to fear from them.”

 

Young volunteer – Kathryn Bullman

St Chad collegeKathryn of St Chad’s College has recruited a dozen fellow undergraduates as volunteers and organises them as a group to support the Aidan’s Kitchen Thursday Coffee Morning Group on a regular basis during term time.

There are three aspects to the activities that Kathryn organises. The volunteers and the older people sit and chat informally (much welcomed, appreciated and enjoyed by all parties). They work on a local history project about Framwellgate Moor where the students record the older people’s memories to preserve their wealth of knowledge and experience. The students also organise and manage social events where members of the coffee morning group travel to St Chad’s College to meet other older people.

St Chad’s College, Durham University students said ’It is really beneficial for us to get to know more about the local area and feel comfortable in Durham. They organised social activities where they invited older people from St Aiden’s Kitchen and the local community to a celebration tea for the Queen’s birthday and a Christmas tea.

Here you can see how much everyone enjoyed the event.