Posted on 25/03/2010
Pupils from St Jude’s, pictured with student volunteers and elders from Merlewood Residential Home
Royal Holloway, University of London celebrated the achievements of its unique Intergenerational Reminiscence Project – which has helped breakdown barriers between generations to strengthen the local community at large – on 18 March 2010.
Royal Holloway was one of ten Higher Education institutions to successfully bid for funding through the NCCPE ‘vstudents’ fund to pilot a project which was innovative and community focused. A team of 14 Royal Holloway students received training from Age Exchange to facilitate a number of workshop sessions involving pupils from four local schools (Magna Carta School, Matthew Arnold School, St Jude’s Junior School, and Manorcroft Primary School) and more than 20 older participants from Age Concern Runnymede, Merlewood Residential Home in Virginia Water, and The Good Companions Club.
The sessions have provided opportunity to reminiscence on stories and share experiences between the generations, with an emphasis on communicating the knowledge and life experience that the elders have in a fun and accessible style to the children involved. The older participants passed on their experience through topics such as school days, leisure time, music and the local area. At the celebration event, each school presented what they had learnt through various performances.
Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager at the College said, “This unique and innovative project has drawn together all the best bits of volunteering; such as working with both younger and older generations, receiving high quality volunteer training, facilitating a creative series of workshops, partnering with a number of schools and community organisations, and hosting a special celebration event amongst other things. Our student volunteers should be really proud of their achievements.”
The project has also been supported by the College’s Annual Fund, the Widening Participation team, College Archives and Chertsey Museum. The project team now plans to collate all the experiences into a book of memories which will be presented at the various schools during summer term.
Community Action volunteering has been in operation for over seven years, and currently has over 800 registered volunteers and works with over 100 community partners.
For more information about Community Action at Royal Holloway, visit: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Services/volunteering/about.html