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Project in Stone launched to combat age gap worries

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 December 2019

Children at the school met with, from left, Carol Jones, Jas Rana, Kelly Grehan, Lesley Howes, and Rosa Bartlett

Children at the school met with, from left, Carol Jones, Jas Rana, Kelly Grehan, Lesley Howes, and Rosa Bartlett

Archant

The Stone Intergeneration Project has been launched to help bridge the age gap between people.

The project was devised by Stone House ward councillor Kelly Grehan in an effort to build understanding across generations.

She said: "Giving all children opportunities to engage with older people can be key to enhancing their life experiences and networks and promoting social mobility.

"For many children the experience can be eye-opening and life-changing - as it is for the older participants."

She said research this year from United for All Ages revealed Britain as one of the most age segregated countries with young and old feeling misunderstood by other groups.

The first session was held at Stone Lodge School.

Kelly, 39, said: "My main aim as a councillor is to build a stronger sense of community across generations.

"I believe life is richer for all when everyone in the community has a better understanding of one another and that each generation can learn things from the others.

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"The consequences of age segregation are manifold.

"Lack of connection fosters mistrust, suspicion and misunderstanding between generations.

"It also wastes the talents, skills and experiences of different generations.

"And we all lose out through the ageism and exclusion that results.

"Age-integrated activities in our communities can form the basis for rebuilding trust, confidence and mutual support between younger and older people across our society.

"Interaction and dialogue is the remedy for that, so I decided to start Stone Intergenerational Project.

"The team at Stone Lodge School agreed in the value of the project helped with the launch with a pilot session."

So Stone Lodge pupils ages 10 and 11 spent an hour with parish Cllr Lesley Howes, 79, Jas Rana, 68, Carol Jones, 82, and Rosa Bartlett, 87, to discuss issues ranging from plastic pollution to knife crime and exchanges experiences of childhood.

Carol said: "School has clearly changed a lot since I was a pupil, some things are better and some are not, but it was really nice to have the opportunity to discuss issues and learn about their perspectives and it was fantastic that they were interested to hear about our experiences."


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