News

Getting a little help from their friends

Release Date: 13-Nov-2015
Residents from Sycamore Grange retirement living scheme in Golcar had some extra help with their shopping this week, when they were joined by students from Royds Hall Community School.
Vera Bowes with Erin Harrison & Sana Mehmood

Vera Bowes with Erin Harrison & Sana Mehmood

The shopping trip was part of a successful scheme that is bridging the generation gap and helping older residents feel part of the wider community.

As part of the scheme, students regularly visit Sycamore Grange where they get involved in a variety of activities – sharing memories of growing up; challenging stereotypes and myths about each other’s generations; playing Wii games; enjoying seasonal celebrations, bingo and so on, as well as talking about issues such as antisocial behaviour and fear of crime.

For the last two weeks, the group has been looking at how shopping habits and prices have changed over the last 50 years. To make the activity more interactive, a group of tenants and students visited Sainsbury’s supermarket, where they had to guess the prices of products on their shopping lists. They then re-grouped in the café, where Sainsbury’s had kindly provided refreshments, to go over the results.

Student Sana Mehmood was one of those taking part; she said, “I really enjoyed helping the residents learn new things – like how to use self-service checkout! We gained a bit more common ground and it was lovely to meet up somewhere different and have a natter over tea and biscuits.”

According to KNH’s older people’s activity coordinator, Karina Sykes, the project is proving to be hugely beneficial: “Getting together with the students is helping our tenants remain active, learn new skills, and share a more youthful view of life, as well as giving them a sense of belonging and being valued. It’s also helping the students see that older people were once just like them and have had all the same thoughts and feelings, just in different times. “

Now in its fourth term, the project has helped forge friendships between the two groups and has helped build confidence and trust between young and old people.