On Monday 19 March, different generations joined together as primary schoolchildren from St Peter’s Catholic Academy, Cobridge, joined older people for an afternoon tea dance.
The students visited the Hanley Young at Heart Club, run by Father Hudson’s Care, for an event inspired by Signal 1 Radio’s Don’t Dance Alone campaign. The children and older people enjoyed an afternoon of singing and dancing together to live music.
Jackie Kelsall Family Support Worker at St Peter’s Catholic Academy, and Matt Ford, Project Co-ordinator at Young at Heart, organised the tea dance after hearing Signal Radio’s campaign.
Community Champions from Tesco, Hanley, also helped out by putting on refreshments for the children. Tesco regularly supports the Young at Heart project and were pleased to assist with this collaborative event.
Matt Ford said, “All the older people enjoyed it very much and have asked if the children can come back again. They said the children were lovely and very well mannered. The most enjoyable thing for me was seeing everyone in the room, old and young, mixing together and dancing. They all had smiles on their faces, which is what it’s all about.”
Intergenerational work, bringing older people together with the young, is well known to be beneficial to both. The students and older people enjoyed taking part in activities and socialising together. Matt hopes that the dance will be the first of more projects that bring old and young together.
Young at Heart is run by Father Hudson’s Care. The project combats social isolation faced by older people in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. The Hanley group is one of four social groups held locally, with a fifth due to open in April. Father Hudson’s also provides Family Support Workers in schools in Staffordshire, Birmingham and Banbury. The workers improve outcomes for children living through adversity by providing intensive, tailored mentoring and advocacy for children and families.
To find out more, visit www.fatherhudsons.org.uk.