Teenagers “bridge intergenerational gap” with voluntary work in Gravesend care home

PUBLISHED: 09:45 11 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:45 11 August 2014

Students with residents at The Hollies.

Students with residents at The Hollies.


A group of teenagers aimed to help bridge the intergenerational gap when they carried out voluntary work in a residential care home.

The 12 young people from Charlton Athletic Community Trust, aged between 16 and 18, were asked to come up with a social action project within their local community.

The group had heard very good reviews about The Hollies Residential Care Home, Darnley Road, Gravesend, which caters for 40 elderly frail residents and recently celebrated 25 years of being under the same owners, Peter and Helen Rogers.

After arranging to go and meet with Peter at The Hollies, the group were certain that it was the place they wanted to carry out their project.

Group Leader Trudi Lewing said: “Once leaving, the group were very pleased and made their 100 per cent decision to volunteer there and could not wait to go back the week after.”

Over the course of the week, from July 28 to August 1, the group planned many fun activities for the residents to enjoy.

These included arts and crafts, nail painting, raffles, and a quiz.

The group also arranged a barbeque, which they purchased all of the materials for themselves, and worked hard to serve up a meal of burgers, chicken, sausages and fresh salad.

Trudi said: “They also decided they wanted to donate the barbecue and tools that they brought to the home and also did a sponsor form to give to friends and family to try and raise money for the home. On top of the sponsors the group spoke to O2 Think Big about their project and applied for some funding to help pay for everything they wanted to do, they were very pleased they liked the project and agreed to the funding as they just wanted to do something nice for The Hollies and make them feel special.”

02 Think Big awards £300 to young people to go out and deliver a project, and aims to help them pay for the equipment or resources they might need to do this.

Peter said: “The group wanted to prove to the elderly that not all young people were as bad as the media make them out to be.

“Quizzes have been designed, nails painted, hands massaged, arts and crafts done, bingo, plus that thing that all elderly people enjoy the art of conversation.

“The group really worked hard and gave our residents an enjoyable day, all this was voluntary and seeing both the young and old chatting and playing together was a great experience. Well done to the group.”

Trudi added: “At the end of every day the group had smiles on their faces and were so pleased that they were there, they had enjoyed being there and was very sad on their last day, they look forward to going back in four weeks to see everyone again.”

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