Generation Joiners was created following the extensive work we at Newton Primary School have completed in regards to becoming a Dementia Friendly establishment. We have received two awards to date from Dementia Friendly Dunblane. A fundamental activity in achieving these awards was to carry out, and act upon, an audit of our school to ensure we are as accessibly as possible to those suffering from Dementia. Also it was crucial that over 150 our pupils became Dementia Friends and almost all the staff have completed this training. All of our older pupils have visited the Braeport Memory Cafe and continue to do so but we have two goals for the future;
- to ensure pupils learn about Dementia as part of their school work.
- to create opportunities for generations to work together for their mutual benefit.
Generation Joiners was created to ensure the latter was established within our school setting. We have 21 pupils in the group from Primary 4 to Primary 7. The Primary 7 pupils lead and support the younger pupils.
During our first meeting we sought out examples from other parts of the country where inter-generational activities were already taking place using them to stimulate ideas from our pupils. We considered what Generation Joiners activities would sound, feel and look like. We agreed on activities which would be the focus of any sessions taking place. These were baking, crafts, sports, gardening and music. We wrote letters to invite representatives from the pupils’ parent and grandparent generations.
On the 27th of February the ‘generations joined’ for the first time for a Fairtrade Baking event. An informal yet focused session began with coffees then individuals from the different age groups went into groups to make a variety of cakes and tray bakes. We are very grateful to all those who supported this event. Around the same time the Generation Joiners also met with the older generation to create two marvellous mosaics let by Rachel Davies, a local artist.
In March our craft session was scaled back due to the current national situation and following the school closure mid March all activities are on hold yet we are in a strong position to restart when we can. We can only imagine how special it will be when the generations can join together again!