The funding from Awards for All enabled us to carry out a wide range of activities.
The aim of Arts 50 Alive Network has always been to bring different generations to work and/or play together and so break down some of the barriers and stereotypes that may exist between the generations. This Lottery funded project, “Working and Playing Together, was aimed at working with groups and individuals that might not normally get involved in our activities for a variety of reasons such as having disabilities or dementia. We also partnered with the National Citizenship Service which works with young people during the summer and autumn holidays as they had groups of young people wanting to make connection with other generations in their community.
Some of the activities took place at a local sheltered housing scheme for older people with sight problems who were joined by local school pupils and some residents of a scheme for people with disabilities. There were also some carers and their partners who have dementia and together the group learned pottery skills and produced a whole variety of items. This is now an ongoing activity at the accommodation and those involved say how it relaxes and enhances the quality of their lives.
There was also a similar session held at the Maypole Centre for young women who are newly arrived in this country, many of whom have a language barrier but found the pottery and artistic activity therapeutic as our pictures from the sessions show.
There were lots of other intergenerational activities, including tea dances – one at Kings Norton Seniors Club where they were joined by boys from Kings Norton Boys School and one at Christchurch Church Hall in Selly Park, where local older people enjoyed a Christmas Tea Dance along with local cubs and scouts. There were other Christmas activities, including a Christmas Party held at Chatham Place with all our groups joining with the NCS young people for a fantastic afternoon of party games, music and a visit from a rather young Santa! The final Christmas event was enjoyed by Kings Norton Seniors and Fairway Primary Academy at their annual Carol Service held in St Nicolas Church on Kings Norton Green.
From this grant, we were also able to support Fairway Primary Academy and Kings Norton Seniors to work with Freshwater Theatre Group. The children used the knowledge they had learned in school about World War 2 and developed a piece of drama which they performed for the Seniors Group. Afterward the performance, there was a chance for everyone to get together, ask questions and generally enjoy each other’s company.