Intergenerational work expands to Llanaelhaearn and Y Ffôr near Pwllheli Thursday 19 September 2019

Five organisations are celebrating after receiving financial support to set up intergenerational projects thanks to Grŵp Cynefin. The housing association is keen to improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness in the lives of the elderly living in rural communities.

Intergenerational work expands to Llanaelhaearn and Y Ffôr near Pwllheli

Over the past year, Grŵp Cynefin has worked in partnership with Bangor University, Gwynedd Council and CADR (Centre for Ageing & Dementia Research) as well as primary schools to close the gap between older people and children in various projects under the title of Intergenerational project.

Following a successful conference back in April to discuss intergenerational research and good practice with its partners, and a number of visits and special sessions between older residents and young children at Grŵp Cynefin’s extra care housing schemes, staff at the society is keen to expand the project further. They are keen that other communities benefit from the positive experiences. Small bursaries, worth £300, have been set up to distribute to specific projects seeking financial support to reach older people.

Antur Aelhaearn in Llanaelhaearn is one of the successful projects and they are keen to establish an intergenerational garden, whilst at Y Ffôr, Pwllheli the ‘Lleisiau’r Llwyn’ scheme by Hafod Hedd, a day care unit for people with dementia also celebrated receiving financial support.

Edwin Humphreys, the co ordinator based at Hafod Hedd said: “We have been working with local primary schools for some time to raise awareness of the issues surrounding dementia, giving pupils the opportunity to meet and work creatively with older people. The hope is to reduce the stigma attached to this complex medical issue.

“As part of Lleisiau’r Llwyn, we are working with the pupils of Ysgol Bro Plennydd in Y Ffôr to recreate an old record by the local sixties pop group names ‘Lleisiau’r Llwyn’. There is a specific link with a number of former band members and we have been re-recording four well-known songs with everyone, which can help to stimulate the mood of that era for many of the individual dementia day care attendees.”

The grant from Grŵp Cynefin has enabled the project to create copies of the CD plus design a new photo cover of the individuals who are participating in the new CD.

An outdoor environmental project will also benefit from the second bursary at Llanaelhaearn. Antur Aelhaearn has given residents of Bryn Meddyg care home and Dwyfor Day Care Services the opportunity to work with the children of Ysgol Gynradd Llanaelhaearn to create an organic vegetable garden.

“It’s part of Antur Aelhaearn’s ethos to promote the learning of new skills and improve facilities in the village,” explains Mari Lloyd Ireland, a member of Antur Aelhaearn. “So, working with both generations brought much of the community together and gave us the opportunity to raise awareness about dementia amongst the next generation.

“We have been able to purchase garden tools, trees and plants, seeds and material such as gloves, forks and small shovels for use in the garden. Turning a piece of waste land in the village into a place where older people and children can come together to socialise and take part in practical gardening activities is very positive. We are very grateful to Grŵp Cynefin for the support.”

The other three projects that have benefited from the bursaries are:

• Conwy Community Well-being Team and its project: Wee ones meeting wise ones

• Morlo Nursery and its project: Morlo Intergenerational Summer project

• Fairways Nursing Home and its project: Growing Together

Mair Edwards, Grŵp Cynefin’s community enterprise manager, said: “We now have evidence that intergenerational work is improving people’s wellbeing and reducing resident loneliness. Therefore, expanding the work we’ve done over the last few months with groups in other communities is worth it.

“Through communication with children, older people feel less isolated and succeed in doing things they wouldn’t normally do. Sharing our experience and supporting other rural communities to take advantage of intergenerational projects confirms our principles of offering residents in North Wales more than just housing.”

At the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst in August, cheques were presented to the two successful projects by broadcaster Beti George, an ambassador for dementia care.

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