Govan Intergenerational Project - Craft Cafe


To address stereotypes held about different age groups in a small community in Govan this project set out to build bonds between the generations through participating in arts workshops. These relationships would be fostered by older members passing on skills they have developed through regularly attending Impact Arts’ Craft Café workshops.


It was hoped that senior participants would gain pleasure and a sense of purpose from being able to share their existing skills, while gaining through the workshops a better understanding of a generation they may not commonly come into contact with. They would also have the value of their work recognised through the final exhibition being visible in the local community.

For the younger Primary 7 children we hoped they would enjoy working creatively, picking up new artistic techniques that would not normally be able to get involved in within the classroom. This would help instill within them an enthusiasm for art and creativity. They would also have the opportunity to work closely with an age group who they would not normally come into contact with, outside of family.


Twenty two Govan Craft Café members aged 60+ and thirty two Primary 7 children from Pirie Park Primary School in Govan took part.

How were they recruited/involved?
Govan Craft Café members regularly attend the group, which runs four times a week at the Elderpark Centre. Pirie Park Primary School was contacted by the Craft Café’s lead tutor as a local school that may be interested in collaborating on an intergenerational project.

Activities/ events

Four sessions were delivered:

  • Firstly, a dance, music and getting-to-know-each-other session.
  • The next three were arts & crafts-based, involving mosaic, grouting & book-binding.

These sessions were led by the Craft Café members and co-ordinated by Govan Craft Café artist-in-residence Charlotte Craig.

The overall theme of the workshops involved Circles and Spirals – with the children approaching in their last year at primary school, the theme was intended to resonate with the big upcoming change in their young lives. Circles and Spirals reflects the recurring changes and patterns that happen throughout our lives, which we can all relate to whatever stage we are at in life.

Benefits for the Community

  • Better cohesion and connection between generations
  • Reduction in negative stereotyping

“It was interesting to see how some of those pupils, who can be disengaged in class and find it challenging to collaborate with others, engage and work with their senior partners so successfully. Some of the pupils described the members of the centre as their friends and it was a valuable way of developing social skills and empathy.

The sessions surpassed my expectations and the ‘feel good’ factor it created in the children and adults was palpable. It was a great way to bring the generations together and I hope this can continue.”
(class teacher)

Benefits for the Younger People

  • Increased self esteem and resilience
  • Learning new skills and sharing skills

“I have enjoyed the art stuff and meeting new people, and the art that people do here is awesome. I enjoyed making new friends and meeting staff members.”
(Pirie Park student)

“I really enjoyed it. I think it was so fun, I loved it. Everyone there was so funny!”
(Pirie Park student)

Benefits for the Older People

  • Reduced stereotypes between younger and older generations
  • Keeping active and healthy

“I thought it was absolutely brilliant. It brings you back to your own childhood days, but I wasn’t as clever at school!
Some of their drawing were amazing. They were enthusiastic, inquisitive – always asking questions. I have now got a few new pals!”
(Craft Café member)

“They did not see us as ‘old’, they called us by our names and just accepted us. They were also asking from week to week ‘how are you doing?’ – it felt like they saw us as friends.”
(Craft Café member)


Tutor costs were covered by Impact Arts through the Scottish Government’s People & Communities Fund, while an additional £475 for materials was contributed by Govan Community Budgeting.


Evaluation was carried out through feedback from members, children and the teacher.


  • The artwork they produced will now be displayed in a local shop window for the rest of the area to enjoy.

Local Priorities

  • Regenerating communities
  • Building peoples confidence by being creative
  • Celebrating creativity

Scottish NPF Objectives

SMARTER – Expanding opportunities to succeed from nurture through to lifelong learning ensuring higher and more widely shared achievements.

HEALTHIER – helping people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.

SAFER and STRONGER – Helping local communities to flourish, becoming stronger, safer places to live and offering improved opportunities and a better quality of life.

This project contributes to the Scottish National Performance Framework (NPF).

Scottish NPF Outcomes

Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens: To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.

We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.

We live longer, healthier lives: Securing longer healthier lives for the people of Scotland will always be a top priority for governments and individuals alike. There are significant challenges which can only be addressed by everyone in Scotland working together, pursuing this goal through improving lifestyles and life circumstances, and a shared ownership of an effective NHS.

Our people are able to maintain their independence as they get older and are able to access appropriate support when they need it.