West Gorton Christmas SingalongResidents, Tenants Associations & the Over 50’s Group provided a festive event to bring together the generations in West Gorton
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.
West Gorton Community Centre
West Gorton Over 50’s Group
Clowes St Residents Association
Bennet St Residents Association
Ambition for Ageing
Manchester City Council
Manchester Local Care Organisation
The aim of this project was to connect residents across the West Gorton estate in a Covid secure way by delivering ‘West Gorton Christmas Sing Along - on your doorstep’ and providing hampers for the over 50s group members who have been feeling very excluded to remind them that they are valued within the neighbourhood.
this made me feel over the moon, a little sunshine at this horrible time’ – over 50s group members.
‘The jingle bells singalong was fantastic’ – Heather (West Gorton Resident and community centre volunteer)
‘For the past 9 months Residents have had a massive change to their way of living, which was Covid-19, to the point residents have either lost their jobs or were Furloughed, which meant a cut in the wages, which meant they struggled to pay bills feed their families.
Most of them had a situation where they had to go to a food banks, one such food bank was West Gorton Community Room.
Which was run by Dot, Heather and Chris, they could see that they needed to help in these circumstances, and Christmas was just around the corner, and my word didn't they do just that.
They had a Christmas Tree put up in the park, dropped singing sheets through doors, to tell the resident they were having a Christmas social distance sing along, which was fantastic, it boosted the residents moral.
But it didn't end there! They put together Christmas Hampers for the over 50s, which were well received, Dot, Heather and Chris were selfless, putting other peoples needs before their own.
They have worked so hard over the Christmas Period to make sure families had something to look forward to, in these times of uncertainty.
They are an amazing group of Residents and they are a pleasure to know and work alongside.' Cllr Tina Hewitson’
The project was promoted well with a day of door to door promotion taking place across the whole estate with support from the local neighbourhood officer, health development coordinator, councillor and neighbourhood health workers.
West Gorton Medical Practice were also very receptive to promoting the event.
They put up leaflets in their practice, did a post on their Facebook page (300 followers) and sent a text message (7,000 patients) to make people aware it was taking place.
The activity created something for people to look forward to and provided a lot of cheer.
Residents on the estate, especially those older, isolated neighbours, had a wonderful time feeling part of a connected and inclusive event which gave a nice memory of the festive period after a difficult year.
Recipients of the festive hampers were delighted, one resident was so overwhelmed that they cried and said ‘nobody has ever done anything like this for me before’ which just goes to show the importance of reaching out to people who may have little or no social contacts and ensuring they know that they are valued and appreciated in their community.
Strategic links to local/national policies
Increased mental wellbeing
Helping child development
Lessen isolation and loneliness
Yasmin Holgeth - Neighbourhood Health Worker. Age Friendly team (Central division)
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