We caught up with Laura Biggart from Befriend Motherwell to find out about their collaborative project with Muir Street Primary School and Glenview Court. She told us that “following discussion with the P6 class teacher, we decided ‘Children’s Games, Past & Present’ would be a suitable project for both the children and the older people. We believed it would be educational, informative, enjoyable and fun for everyone. Residents at Glenview were informed and encouraged to take part. We sourced and hired a box of ‘children’s toys of the past from Motherwell Heritage Centre. These included old playground toys such as the ‘gird and cleek’ and the ‘whip and peerie’.”
The project took place at Glenview Court over a four week period and the large school class was split into two groups, with each participating for two weeks. Each week, Befriend Motherwell staff & volunteers met the children at the school and walked with them to the complex.
The first session was ‘Games of the past’
“Following initial introductions, before bringing out the toys and games, we showed a short clip of how the ‘whip & peerie’ and the ‘gird & cleek ‘worked. Everyone was keen to ‘have a go’. The older people enjoyed demonstrating and ‘Peaver ‘and ‘Blow football ‘ were favourites.”
The second week was ‘Games of today’
“The school children were also encouraged to choose a game that they enjoyed playing (either in the playground or indoors) and would like to share with the older people. They brought in a varied selection of toys and board games and firstly explained and demonstrated how they were played. We then split into groups and young and old played together. It was lovely to see faces full of excitement and enthusiasm. Each session finished off with tea/coffee/juice and biscuits and a chat.”
The project, though only relatively short, had immediate impact and should encourage others to see the benefits of bringing young and older people together and what can be achieved even in a short period of time.
“Over the couple of weeks, it was great to watch relationships develop and mutual care and respect being shown. This type of project helps break down stereotyping and encourages reminiscing, improves confidence and feelings of self worth. The children made a lovely thank you card for the residents which was greatly appreciated and the photographs we took helped capture the enthusiasm and fun had by all.”
“One resident voiced that she was initially unsure about taking part in the project. She didn’t think she would enjoy it. She came along and after week one, she said she was so looking forward to the next session. It became the ‘highlight of her week.’
26th April 2019