Connecting Generations in the Community

In the Fife community of Cardenden there was some disconnection between the generations.  Ageist attitudes towards the young people were evident.  Something needed to happen.  The young people needed direction and the older residents needed to support this redirection.

Antisocial behaviour amongst the young people had changed the rythmn of Cardenden, the same preceived antisocial behaviour, sadly seems common and prevalent in many towns and villages across Scotland, an intergenerational approach could help with the local tensions. 

There was a restlessness amongst the young people.  An intervention to engage them more in the life of the former mining town, saw them speak with older peoples' groups and older individuals in the community.  During their conversations, past history was shared, the young people shared about their fun and recent memories of gala days and the older people shared about the former movers and shakers in the village. Much past and present stories of village life was exchanged. Everyone involved in this story gathering enjoyed wach others company as well as the project as a whole. Opinions of the older and younger generation were changed and mutual respect happened without realising due to sharing in each others company.  

It was decided to share this collection of local history for present and future generations to celebrate. Now when you enter the village the story and peoples' memories are there for all to see.

Community Collaboration Changed Cardenden  

 A mural that brought the generations together. The mural artwork was commissioned by the village's Community Development Forum and is now brightening the wall at the entrance of Wallsgreen Park. 
The initiative brought together a number of community groups who were helped by local artist Donna Forrester. 
She explained: “The Community Development Forum commissioned this collaborative mural with the Youth Forum and asked us to create something that would celebrate Cardenden, then and now. 
"This was an opportunity to bridge gaps and connect with young volunteers using a mix of vibrant illustration and more painterly work. The team have worked hard against challenges that come with working outdoors in Scotland, our driech weather. The village can boast some amazing volunteer groups, a rich history of grafters and now an extra piece of community art that tells some of that story in hand painted format." 
Dave Roy, chairperson of Cardenden Community Development Forum Chair, said they continue to be a driving force behind the Cardenden ABCD Village Action Plan. 
"When this project was presented to the Forum, we were delighted to get behind it and help with the funding," he said. 
"Donna and the volunteers from the Cardenden Youth Forum led by Community Education Worker Margaret King, have designed and delivered a fantastic wall mural for everyone including visitors to the village to see and enjoy for years to come. 
"The Forum is currently working on their next action plan which will continue to make a difference in the village." 
Local councillor Rosemary Liewald applauded the community efforts which had produced the "wonderful" mural. 
She added: "The coming together on a project such as this shows the remarkable talents and still that exist across all community groups in Cardenden." 

Extract from  Central Fife Times