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Festival of Ages

from the website: http://www.erosh.co.uk/erosh-good-practice-innovation-awards-2015/

The Festival of Ages started with an intergenerational project involving students from a local school and sheltered scheme residents sharing their stories of music. Over the course of six months creative intergenerational projects (supported by a professional) ran across North Somerset which consisted of a group of older people living within the same community as a group of younger people from a local school. The projects involved music, drama, singing, writing, talking, listening and baking, all focusing on communication through the ages. These projects culminated in an intergenerational variety show to an audience of 400 people. The project is continuing with a Festival of Ages 2015.

This project represents a positive solution to a problem with anti-social behaviour amongst local school students and has resulted in positive change (supported with feedback from participants); e.g. breaking down barriers; more positive perceptions of each other; challenging stereotypes, better understanding of each other’s needs, increased confidence; and lasting relationships as well as of course to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour. The projects have helped to reduce loneliness and isolation in communities and to actively connect young (especially those who do not regularly engage with older family members) and older people with different experiences and skills to share. Community spirit generally has also improved a result of the Festival of Ages and the project has resulted in strong partnerships with community schools, local residents and their families as well as over £8,000 of voluntary donations (including in-kind donations).

“To hear that we were shortlisted for this award filled us with pride, winning the award filled us with excitement, knowing that this will make a huge difference in raising the profile of the ‘Festival of Ages’ whilst the prize money will go towards bringing all the projects together to be showcased on the 18th July 2015.”

Karen Bennett – Alliance Homes Resident Activities Co-ordinator

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