Hello, my name is Molly Turpie and I’m currently the chair of our Round Square Working Party. We are currently taking part in the Round Square 50th Anniversary Challenge to make positive changes in our local area. ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ is all about forming bonds between the older and the younger generation, making our community closer. Each week we meet to discuss new ideas, plan events and work as a team. So far we have learnt a lot and our connections are growing and growing. Our group of students is of all ages throughout both the Junior, Senior and Sixth Form.
So, what we have done so far…
The Wild Western Showdown:
We invited members of our community to watch the Year 3 and 4 production of ‘Ye-Ha!” and then for refreshments and a chat after. One man even dressed up to the delight of Year 3.
Our First Movie Afternoon:
This was our viewing of the Robin Williams film, “Patch Adams”. It was a great way to form bonds with the community over a lovely film. A fantastic afternoon. We will definitely be hosting another movie afternoon in the near future.
An Afternoon of Tea, Music and Bingo:
Last term we hosted an ‘Afternoon of Tea, Music and Bingo’. We invited all of the Junior School grandparents as well as members from our older community. This event was mainly organised by Year 6 pupils and had performances from all ages. All the cakes were donated by parents and the sandwiches were donated by Sainsbury’s.
Share Your Stories Afternoon:
One of our most well attended events was the ‘Share Your Stories Afternoon’. Here we invited the older community into our library to talk about their careers, memories, special stories, school life and general life lessons. As students, we really were amazed at the conversations we were having and we hope to host events like this again.
Oral History Interviews:
We have also been conducting oral history interviews where we record a conversation with an individual and save it in our school history and archive. Many interviews have been based around the war, which provides fantastic first-hand accounts for our history classes to use.
Since the start of our project, we really have learned a lot, and moulded our ideas into new ones. At first the plan was to involve as many older people as we could; however, we quickly realised that just by hosting events and inviting a large group of people in, we would not be forming meaningful or real connections. We realised that our goal is a project that can be sustainable, carry on for many years and make real changes in our community.
Our ongoing plan is to have strong connections with individual people, to make them feel special and to bring them sunshine! Many people have now attended more than one event, some every single one. Currently, we are planning a pen-pal scheme between generations, a walking netball match, a beetle drive, intergenerational dance crew and more.
We have made connections all over our community. A few include: Just Good Friends (who aim to combat loneliness), multiple care homes, Lancashire Memories (who preserve memories from the past), a Parkinson’s Café and Sport England.
We have also hosted sessions for our students to attend entitled ‘How to Listen and Communicate’ and ‘An Introduction into the Dynamics of Ageing’ with Mr Richard Golding, a local Chaplin who supports the spiritual care of the older generation. Through our journey we have learnt so much and opportunities to learn more have been grasped readily.
Friendships is what our project is all about. Friendships have not only blossomed between year groups but also between school and the community.
For regular updates, please follow are twitter page @RSGoldenProject