Together In Time“Together in Time” is an intergenerational pen pal scheme
Benefit of intergenerational projects
Intergenerational projects provide opportunities for bringing older and younger people together, and building relationships and understanding between those who live and learn in the same community. Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities such as sharing skills, memories and ideas between the different generations which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. The beauty of intergenerational events is that the benefits go both ways. Studies show that children who participate in activities with older adults tend to have improved reading scores, communication skills, problem-solving skills and a positive attitude toward community service.
Ancoats, Clayton & Bradford
Manchester Active - Winning Hearts & Minds Community Development Fieldworker
Manchester Settlement - Community Health and Wellbeing Manager
MLCO - Health Development Coordinators
“Together in Time” is an intergenerational pen pal scheme that started within the area of Ancoats, Clayton & Bradford. This scheme started as a pilot that reached out and connected people from different ages and backgrounds through the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Together in Time” invites people young and old, to share their life experiences with another person, with everyone’s stories being preserved in a time capsule and these events will be held in upcoming community celebration dig events once it is safe to do so. The scheme was created in partnership with; Health Development Coordinators, Buzz Health & Wellbeing Service, Winning Hearts & Minds and Manchester Settlement where the focus was tackling isolation in the area. The partnership was aware that local residents had effectively adapted to the new COVID 19 limiting conditions and residents were now obtaining provisions but there was a big gap in supporting older people and families at risk of social isolation. The partnership looked at ways of how to address the situation, whilst still keeping people safe through minimum contact.
The partnership decided to create a pen pal scheme which helps to reduce isolation in for those who are potentially at risk of being the most vulnerable and most at risk of being isolated from both friends & family within East Manchester.
It was decided that the partnership would target care homes in Clayton and invite them to join the project and all residents involved would receive a completed Together In Time pack from a child or younger person from a different community or background, effectively connecting two resident who may have never come into contact or spoken to another person from said community.
Words by Matthew Youngson
Winning Hearts and Minds Community Development Fieldworker
“Together in Time is more than a pen pal scheme, it breaks down barriers for older and younger people to connect and share their experiences and stories”.
“Together in Time It unites people of different ages and cultures in their own neighbourhoods, giving people a chance to interact with someone they may never of done previously”.
“Together in Time could be used in other areas to engage and connect people, whilst having fun”.
Words from Emma Davis, Manchester Settlement Community Health and Wellbeing Manager
“Together in Time” is an intergenerational pen pal scheme that started within the area of Ancoats, Clayton & Bradford. This scheme started as an pilot, that reached out and connected people from different ages and backgrounds through the Covid-19 lockdown. The partnership was aware that people seemed to be getting by ok with food and medicine, but there was a big gap in supporting individuals and families at risk of social isolation. The partnership looked at ways of how to address the situation, whilst still keeping people safe through minimum contact. Through the partnerships there has been a connection made between children and Brownlow House Care Home based in Clayton and local primary schools.’
‘Partnership working plays a huge role on being able to highlight the Voluntary Sectors potential to support health and wellbeing in local communities’
Despite the Together in Time project being in a pilot stage it has been successful in connecting different community & people from different backgrounds together across East Manchester during the life changing period of the COVID 19’s lockdown phased. The project connected children, residents from Brownlow House Care Home and asylum seekers & refugees together helping to reduce isolation and bringing a sense of togetherness to all those involved. The feedback we received from this was positive and all participants have enjoyed taking part.
We hope we can extend the reach of this project and offer it to a wider population of East Manchester and Manchester as a whole in the near future. In addition, we are hoping that this will have a lasting legacy as we are planning to invites those who took part in this project and who shared their life experiences / stories with another person to a time capsule community celebration dig event. These events will be held once it is safe to do so.
Feedback received –
‘I enjoyed completing the booklet with my mum’
‘I am an only child – my teacher suggested I fill this out. It was nice to talk to people during time off school’
‘In my religion it is important to give back. I felt like God was pleased’
‘I enjoyed it’
Overall- individuals enjoyed completing the booklet – 90% scored 4 out of 5 and above
‘I am happy’ and ‘I have no one to talk to’ were the most popular responses.
Strategic links to local/national policies
Increased mental wellbeing
Helping child development
Lessen isolation and loneliness
Matt Brown - buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker
T: 0161 271 0564
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"Before I didn’t know anyone in this area, then a neighbour invited me to the afternoon tea, and I met lots of people who live just a few doors away."
Local resident attending Spoon and Ladle afternoon tea, Burnage