Sharing and Caring across the Generations

Pupils and adults at the presentation
The Mayor, Graham Warke presiding over the distribution of Acer Tablets at Friday’s ‘Share and Care’ project finale at Oakgrove Integrated Primary School. Included are Suzanne McCafferty, Principal, Good Shepherd PS, Ashley Donaghy, Principal, Oakgrove PS, Eddie Breslin, Housing Executive and Kathleen McLaughlin, Inspire Wellbeing.

Two primary schools in Derry City have been sharing and caring with older residents nearby as part of a community cohesion project funded by the Housing Executive.

Delivered by Good Shepherd Primary School, the project saw pupils from Good Shepherd Primary School and nearby Oakgrove Integrated Primary School meet online via zoom calls with the Older Peoples Group from Inspire Community Wellbeing.

To mark the completion of the Share and Care Project, a celebration event took place on Friday, 11 March 2022, where the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane enjoyed presentations and presented participants with certificates.

The groups met over several sessions to explore who they were, learning a lot about each other’s age groups and getting to know what mattered to them.

By taking photos with disposable cameras and creating scrapbooks, the children and older people built a mutual understanding and appreciation for each other.  

Vision boards were also made to consider future aspirations and goals, which helped to build a platform to allow the young and old friends to keep the connections made beyond the project.

Cathy Malcolm, a member of the Board of Governors at Good Shepherd Primary School, managed the project, with Dominic Bonner, a youth worker also facilitating the workshops. 

Good Shepherd Primary School Principal, Suzann McCafferty, is amazed at the results achieved over the last twelve weeks.  She said:

“The children have made some fantastic scrapbooks and vision boards, which expresses a genuine understanding of who they are, where they come from and how they fit into their community with different age generations.

“Their willingness to participate and help each other was brilliant and helped to dispel the fears and negative perceptions that some participants had.”

“Derry City and Strabane Mayor, Alderman Graham Warke, also commented on the progress achieved by the Share and Care Project.  He said:

“I was delighted to attend the celebration event on Friday, which reflected on this project and the great success that it has been over the past three months.

“Not only did the young children involved learn a lot from the older participants, but it worked the other way as well.

“They enjoyed great conversations and friendships and have created some lovely vision boards and scrapbooks reflecting on their experiences and what they have learned about themselves and the community around them.

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in delivering this project.”

Housing Executive Good Relations officer, Eddie Breslin, was also at the event.  He said:

“Our work in housing goes far beyond providing homes, it helps build stronger relationships and safer communities for everyone.  Talking together and storytelling is an excellent way to connect people of different ages and beliefs.

“This project was funded by our Community Cohesion department and proved challenging to complete, as many people had to isolate due to Covid-19. 

“Nevertheless, it’s been really successful and the schools are delighted to be able to carry on learning and building on the relationships made.”

The schools involved and the older peoples group have been provided with electronic tablets to continue to build their relationships and learn from each other.

Vice Principal, Nial Gill, from Oakgrove Integrated Primary School, said:

“Our pupils really enjoyed working on this project and made some great connections during their online sessions together.  The finished scrapbooks are brilliant.

“Participants proudly talked about their scrapbooks and the celebration event was a brilliant opportunity to meet everyone in person and play together. 

“Thanks to the Housing Executive for providing funding to enable this project to happen.”

More details on our funding and investment works is available on the Housing Executive website.

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