Music helps bridge the generation gap in the Colne Valley

Release Date: 18-Jun-2012

Shared interests are helping to bridge the generation gap between teenagers and older people in the Colne Valley.
Lyn Royd resident Joan listens to Ellie's iPod

Lyn Royd resident Joan listens to Ellie's iPod

Every Tuesday evening, a group of youngsters meets with tenants from the Lyn Royd retirement living scheme in Linthwaite to share their experiences and do activities together, including a recent presentation by the young people on the music they like to listen to.

The sessions came about through a partnership between Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) which manages the scheme, and Kirklees Council’s Young People’s Service, who KNH approached to help bring together younger and older people in the area.

The content of the sessions is determined by the group. As well as music, they have included baking, mobile phones, bingo, quizzes, and competing on Lyn Royd’s Nintendo Wii.

The young people are all working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards and as part of that, wanted to do something that would benefit their community. The sessions have been a real success, breaking down many stereotypes that exist between the old and the young. As the sessions have moved on the groups have formed a strong bond and enjoy spending time with each other.

Lyn Royd residents look forward to the visits, which they say help keep them young at heart. According to William Haigh, “I really enjoy having the young people come to visit and thought their presentation on their music was very interesting. I loved using the iPod!”

Carol Crossley, who manages KNH’s Older People’s Support Service, said: “Social activities for older residents are important as they help retain and improve both physical and mental health and well being.

“Having fun plays a big part in this, so we’re increasing the activities within all our schemes, bringing older people together and involving others in the wider community to bridge the generation gap and help our residents feel part of that community.”

Cllr Molly Walton, the Cabinet member responsible for Adults & Communities, said, “The lives of young people today are miles apart from those of the elderly and any initiative which can break down barriers between the two groups is really good.

“Many older people are quite fearful of young people because of what they hear or see in the media and because they don’t have much contact with them, but schemes like this show that there are plenty of good ones in our communities.”

If you’d like to find out more about KNH’s Older People’s Service, please ring 01484 416444.