Residents and pupils team up for WW1 centenary song and celebration
A YEAR-LONG project spanning the ages will see pupils and older people collaborate in a performance of their own WW1 centenary song.
Supported by older people’s charity Equal Arts, the project has been a leading example of how creativity can benefit those living with dementia and the important role community has to play in wellbeing.
The project will be celebrated on November 26 with a performance of Postcards from Home as part of the free WW1 Centenary event for the community with food, music and entertainment.
Carole Bertram, manager of the extra care court run by Housing and Care 21, said: “People living here have benefited greatly from the sessions with Equal Arts and the children.
“It is fantastic to see them able to learn from one another and to see their smiles when they sing.
“As people get older not everyone has the ability to get out into their community and a project like this allows the community to come into care settings. The sessions bring such benefits to those involved I’d like to see them run every extra care court.”
Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts co-director, added: “Loneliness within care settings is a hidden issue and this partnership is an excellent example of how people in care settings can be actively involved in their communities and the benefits this can bring to their wellbeing and quality of life.”
During the sessions Year 6 pupils and tenants have worked with Equal Arts’ artists Mona McCarthy and Nicky Rushton exploring what it means to leave home and your loved ones behind.
The project, made possible with Heritage Lottery funding of £10,000, has seen the group visiting Tyne and Wear museums and working with visual artist Cath Walshaw as they researched textiles from the era.
Parkhead Primary deputy head teacher Angela McDermid said: “It is important children are able to communicate effectively and confidently with adults and doing so through the medium of song and dance have made this project extremely successful.
“The children have looked forward to their weekly sessions and it has been a pleasure to observe the wonderful relationships they have developed with the different residents.
“Through the project pupils have learned about the past through the experiences and eyes of others from outside of their immediate family rather than simply searching the internet!”
The free centenary celebration will be opened by Mayor of Gateshead Coun Alex Geddes from 2pm at Winton Court in Park Lane, Winlaton.
Find out more about Equal Arts projects here.
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