The new ‘Generation Friends’ group brings school children and older people together. “It’s my favourite day of the week” says Megan Young (above), 5 Years old.
Blackpool’s Anchorsholme Library has launched a new group which is bringing reception school children together with older people to meet, read together or simply have a chat.
The ‘Generation Friends’ group was set up in June after Anchorsholme Academy approached the library to discuss setting up a group which would see their youngest pupils interact with some of Blackpool’s older generation.
The thinking behind the idea was that some of the children have lost a grandparent and the opportunity to communicate with an older person. It also offered an opportunity to support the art of reading together.
‘Generation Friends’ group brings school children and older people together
The school now brings around a dozen children to the library every week during term time to spend time with older Blackpool residents.
Anyone from the community is welcome to come in and sit with the children to chat, read or talk about objects in the library’s memory boxes. Objects in the boxes such as shoe polish and old fashioned whisks keep the children guessing as the older generation explain what they are used for.
The memory boxes originally started as part of the ‘Lancashire Not Forgotten’ scheme, a Heritage Lottery funded partnership, to help trigger the memories of people with dementia. Although not a specifically dementia focused library event, people living with the condition are welcome to attend the Generation Friends sessions.
She really likes my reading
5-year-old Megan Young thinks that “It is my favourite day of the week” while 5-year-old Polly Drury says that “I love to read with my older friend, Susan. She really likes my reading.”
Anne Walton, one of the older generation people who joins the group, said: “It makes me feel so good to be a part of it, having never had children myself. It’s lovely that one of the children sits with me and says she likes me and another one shouted hello across the street the other morning. It makes me feel so good! I’ve even been invited to sports day at the school.”
Library in the Community
Blackpool Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Gillian Campbell added: “The group is a welcome addition to our bustling Anchorsholme community library.
“It really makes a difference to both age groups with both learning from each other and enjoying each other’s company. It is so lovely that two different generations are socialising and sharing stories together. I can’t wait to see the group flourish after the school’s summer break. I would encourage people to get involved and there is no need to book just pop along.”
The group now breaks up for the summer before returning on Wed 18 Sept at 10.30am for weekly term time fun.
Call 01253 853588 for more details or drop into Anchorsholme Library for more information.
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