Intergenerational work shortlisted for national award Monday 8 October 2018

Grŵp Cynefin’s work bringing together old and young people through the arts has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.

Intergenerational work shortlisted for national award

Grŵp Cynefin is up for the Pat Chown Award, established by a national industry group, Community Housing Cymru to recognise creative solutions to issues in social housing.

And Grŵp Cynefin has earned a place on the shortlist for its intergenerational programme, which worked to reduce loneliness in older people living in rural communities.

The scheme brought primary school children on visits to Grŵp Cynefin’s extra-care centres to take part in activities including arts and crafts, singing, and reading to each other.

At Awel y Coleg, in Bala, four to seven year old school pupils and older tenants in their 70s, 80s and 90s teamed up to sing together under the guidance of professional musicians from the William Mathias Music Centre.

Following those sessions, a tenant in her eighties from Bala, Helen Margaret Roberts said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the sessions, as it bought both of my great joys together - singing and spending time with children. It’s been a breath of fresh air singing with the children, and has bought back to me some wonderful memories of my days teaching youngsters.”

Grŵp Cynefin’s annual older people’s day continued its drive to improve the well-being and social awareness of its tenants, as pupils from Rhyl’s Ysgol Dewi Sant visited to teach their older counterparts a traditional Welsh folk dance.

The winner will be announced at Community Housing Cymru’s One Big Housing Conference in October, with the organisation receiving a £1,000 donation to a Wales-based charity of its choice.

But the scheme is already a winner for the housing association, says Grŵp Cynefin community initiatives manager Mair Edwards.

She said: “We were aware of evidence that intergenerational work had been found to enhance well-being, and wanted to put this into practice.

“By communicating with children, our older tenants feel less isolated and are able to do things they might not normally do.

“Our slogan is ‘more than housing’ because of schemes like this – we want our residents to lead fulfilling lives and the programme helps us achieve that goal.”

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