As part of an ongoing project with Age UK, our Year 9 Key Skills pupils recently visited the Age UK Day Centre in Gillingham. Previously, the students had struck up pen pal relationships with some of the people supported by the charity.
“The benefits of intergenerational partnerships have long been understood,” explained Key Skills Co-Ordinator, Mrs Bonner, “and it is something we have been developing with Year 9 over the last two years.”
However, the visit was more than an opportunity for Christmas crafting and building friendships, as students also learned about event organisation. They had to make sure that they booked the school minibus, managed their own budget, and even make sure that packed lunches were organised for the day.
Mrs Bonner continued, “Watching the students interact with the elderly clients, it was abundantly clear that the relationship we have been building is beneficial for all: everyone was enjoying themselves! The students behaved impeccably and were a credit to the School.”
The students who visited put together a report of the trip, saying, “Half of Year 9 recently visited Age UK. We had prepared numerous activities for the residents such as: bauble making, Christmas card creating, designing Christmas badges and we ended singing Christmas songs.
“Since Year 8, we have been communicating to them via post and it was so lovely to see them in person. We planned this trip purely from scratch from arranging transport to socialising there on the day. Everyone was really kind and interesting; many of us made new friends there.
“We had a marvellous time and learned so much in the process. We are utterly grateful for this opportunity, and we hope to visit our friends at Age UK again soon.”