Spanning the Ages by Brighter Bervie
Brighter Bervie is a voluntary gardening group making Inverbervie in Aberdeenshire a Brighter place. In 2018 they realised that intergenerational gardening and bulb planting could have a positive impact on the community and worked closely with schools, care homes and locals to make a difference.
Benefits for the Community
A core part of Brighter Bervie’s mission is to draw-together the community in and around Inverbervie. In order to achieve this, active links have been developed with different community organisations, including the local secondary and primary schools, pre-school nursery and daycare groups. The intergenerational connections work well with the school curriculum. Teaching staff are also always looking for community engagement opportunities for pupils and this project fit in well under this aim, linking the children with the older population. Experience of such collaborations led to the realisation that intergenerational contacts could be developed in the community.
Benefits for the Younger People
Children learn to appreciate their community, environment, as well as developing new knowledge and skills. Through the project conversations have been observed with the older people that indicate increased friendships and respect for older generations. Children are also very interested to hear about the experience of the older people and about life in the past.
Benefits for the Older People
Older people thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the project. They created new friendships and saw their physical activity levels increase as a direct result. Sharing their life’s experiences and stories to the young generation was rewarding and they enjoyed listening to the children sharing their newly-learned knowledge.
The project is funded by Brighter Bervie with bulbs kindly donated by a local grower.
The project was mainly evaluated by observation, photography and asking questions from the participants informally. We observed that both younger and older people undertook more physical activity by being part of the project. There was also a knowledge element to the project that we saw developing, this included learning about planting, growing and about the past. This project also promotes respect for other generations within the community and beyond.
In the future we will try to involve more young people. A follow-up event has been arranged for Nursery pupils to visit the Daycare residents for a Christmas concert.
These activities align with Brighter Bervie’s aim to raise individual’s’ awareness of the community in which they live, to respect others in that community and generate interest and efforts to make it a lively and caring community.
Scottish Strategic Objectives
These intergenerational activities are intended to make Scotland community healthier, smarter and greener.
Greener – Improve Scotland’s natural and built environment and the sustainable use and enjoyment of it.
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.
Scottish NPF national outcomes
This project could easily contribute to the following national outcomes of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework (NPF).
Children and young people – we grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential
Communities – we live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.
Culture – we are creative and out vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely.
Education – we are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society.
Environment – we value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment.