9 August, 2018
Intergenerational work in the community
The Youth Support Team (YST) work with young people in contact with the criminal justice system in a variety of ways. We are often involved when young people have been given a reparation order as we are able to provide opportunities for the young people to meet the requirements of the order whilst providing the support they need to complete it.
One such project is in partnership with Gloucester City Homes (GCH) who have just won a bid for a Rotary Club’s Community Award of £500, which was selected from over 200 applications, to enable an intergenerational project between young people from the YST and elderly residents living in GCH supported living accommodation.
Nicky Newell (left) from YST with GCH staff and residents
The project aims to incorporate the preparation and cooking of meals, to plant and grow vegetables within the residential area with a focus on social interaction through weekly meetings. The project has been operating for around six weeks now and is beginning to get established with around five GCH residents regularly attending and interacting with the young people during baking sessions. The young people involved in the project are not exclusively those on reparation orders and includes young people who are not in education, employment or training and young people with some mental health issues.
We went along to find out a bit more and to talk to the staff, young people and residents involved.
Charles Wallace, YST Programme Officer is currently working with young people on two of the three vegetable beds which have been allocated to the project. Charles and the young people have been busy digging over the beds and preparing them for growing. They are currently growing potatoes in one bed and are planning to plant pumpkins in another. The young person is learning about tending for the plants and there’s a discussion about what might be done with the vegetables once they are ready for harvest as well as deciding what equipment they need.
Another key element to this project is the social interaction between the young people and residents which has been taking place in the community kitchen where young people have been baking cakes and scones, serving tea and chatting to residents.
Patricia, a GCH resident said:
I like that these people care about us, they’re not just coming in to do a job, they’re building relationships and that has a knock-on effect so we’re caring for each other”.
James*, a young person currently involved with the project expressed a real sense of enjoyment when residents appreciated his scones and chocolate cake and said the GCH residents really made him feel at ease,
I feel I have earnt their respect and have enjoyed listening about their lives, I really respect them”.
Kevin Daws, Activities Coordinator at GCH said:
We are thrilled that this project has been recognised as it brings together younger and older people allowing them to share skills and enjoy working and talking together. This interaction is rare for many of the participants and therefore provides a great opportunity to all involved.”
Nicky Newell, a Programme Officer at YST said:
It has empowered the young people to be on time to plan and start preparing and baking for the session. This is helping to build independent living and communication skills. The process helps break down low self-esteem and builds on their sense of self-worth and confidence.”
If you’d like to know about the project please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org