Project name: Back to School - a radical re-envisioning of older people's lunch clubs
Over two years we will establish four intergenerational lunch clubs at primary schools with 5-8 older participants per weekly club in term-times. Following a six-month pilot at Olga Primary we now wish to test and refine the idea.
Our pilot showed that it's not possible to 'parachute' older people into school lunchtimes. We moved our regular seated yoga class to the school's activity room so that young and old became familiar faces to one another. The pilot showed how important it is to join the school community. Older people have joined creative learning sessions and helped the children making slime or fruit salad for example. This allowed all participants to get to know one another in a relaxed group setting. Children then invited older people to join them at lunch. Some weeks we found that there weren't enough older participants to go around, as the children all wanted them 'at my table'. This project could make lunch clubs more inclusive and sustainable.
How the £50,000 grant will help
Without this funding we would not be able to run intergenerational lunch clubs benefiting pensioners and primary school children in the highest levels of poverty nationally. It is rare to find early-stage funding that is prepared to underwrite good ideas and give them a chance to fly. This kind of funding allows organisations to test and expand bold new ideas that take them away from business as usual. As austerity bites for its tenth year, we believe the clever use of existing community assets is essential to the sustainability of older people's services. Lunch clubs are one of these.
Through this project we believe we have a unique opportunity to build closer, more inclusive communities for younger and older people alike.