The Burnham Intergenerational Programme began in 2002 with 2 underlying aims:
1|) To provide a group of older people with an opportunity to share their special memories with others, and particularly with children
2)To help a local school develop its connection with the wider community
But wider benefits very quickly emerged. We have found that the Programme fosters greater understanding, tolerance and respect between the generations. It helps to build confidence and reduce isolation and has a positive impact on older people’s and children’s sense of wellbeing, in line with the Five Ways to Wellbeing approach championed by the NHS.
The Programme also has an important educational role, reinforcing and complementing classroom learning and helping to deliver on specific requirements of the National Curriculum, in particular with regard to the development of language and literacy as well as linking to Ofsted’s Guidance on Personal Development and the Relationships and Health Education Curriculum.
Here are just a few of the many comments we have received from children, older people and staff over the years:
“There are older people at Perry House with much knowledge and experience that we can learn from…. I will never forget these memories” (11 year old boy, 2020)
“I enjoy meeting and working with the children and I am gaining knowledge of the local area and history of our country. It makes me feel I am of some use and needed.”(A woman in her 80’s, 2018)
“The Intergenerational Programme is now firmly embedded in the school’s timetable. It brings generations together when families often find themselves quite fragmented and therefore lacking the experiences and opportunities that only more “mature” members of society can help with.”
(Headteacher, St Peter’s School, 2009 – 2019)