Pupils from Drapers Mills Primary Academy have been visiting Thanet’s Age UK Community Hub this term as part of a fantastic, ongoing Intergenerational Project.

The project has been organised by teachers, Mrs Marks and Miss Lehan, and Age UK’s Intergenerational Project Manager, Rachel Jackson.

I was invited along to a training session for the young students at the school and was honoured to accompany them on their first visit to the amazing Age UK Community Hub in Cliftonville.

The training, led by Rachel, was a fascinating insight into working with the elderly and gave the youngsters the best possible preparation for their forthcoming visits. The pupils were clearly looking forward to visiting the Community Hub and listened and responded enthusiastically as the session went on.

At the end of the training, it was obvious how excited these young pupils were to be involved in such a fantastic project.

Pupils from Drapers Mills Primary Academy training with Rachel from Age UK Thanet

On Friday 26th April, the youngsters headed off to the Community Hub for the first of a number of regular weekly visits.

I arrived early and had the opportunity to speak with some of the Age UK staff and their guests before the children arrived. There was a real buzz of excitement about the visit around the hub. One of the elderly guests, Peggy, was particularly excited as she’d been a pupil of Drapers Mills herself, way back in 1927.

Once the children arrived, it was evident this was going to be a special afternoon for everyone involved. Any nerves were quickly forgotten as Rachel led some great ice-breaker games before asking everyone to introduce themselves.

The children were confident and engaging throughout the visit and it was so lovely to see everyone playing games, sharing stories and making gifts for each other.

This is a truly inspiring project which looks as if it will go from strength to strength as the weeks progress. As the children left, I couldn’t help but think that some really lovely friendships, spanning up to over ninety years in age differences, were going to be forged over the next school term.

I would like to thank the staff from Drapers Mills and Age UK for inviting me along to this amazing project and I am looking forward to popping in again soon to see how it is progressing.

Please take a look through our gallery of images from the training session and the school’s first visit to the Community Hub and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested…