The Boathouse Youth have teamed-up with Blackpool Coastal Housing to deliver an intergenerational art project bringing together young people and the elderly to compare and contrast childhood today versus times gone by. The groups will come together once a week for 6-weeks to spend time together and learn from each other and create a piece of artwork.
Intergenerational activities can be beneficial to both groups. They can help build confidence, challenge assumptions and prejudices and help tackle social isolation and loneliness in both groups.
“BCH is an organisation which manages the council’s housing stock right across Blackpool. We get involved in a lot of community activity across Blackpool. At BCH we do a lot of creative activity, so I really welcomed this project. We work with different communities on art and cultural projects trying to bring people together and improve health and well-being.”Maggie Cornall, Direct of Operations, Blackpool Coastal Housing
Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contribute to the building of more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the younger and older persons have to offer to each other and those around them. (Beth Johnson Foundation, 2009)
“We are really excited to get involve in this project. The young people we’ve chosen are chatter-boxes and we’re sure they’ll be asking lots of questions to our new friends over at Spencer Court. It’s nice to bring the different groups together to explore the differences and learn from each other. We are really looking forward to it”.Kayleigh Smith, Programme Manager, The Boathouse Youth
One elderly resident said: “I didn’t think it was a good idea to get children involved with the elderly at first, but now I do. I just tarred them all with the same brush, that’s what it amounts to really.” another said “It’s good to understand that not all children are a problem” to which one of our young people replied “Calm down mate, don’t worry – I’m not going to bite!”.
As a charity, one of the core social skills we are keen to develop within our young people is empathy, and this kind of project is perfect for that!