In 2018 Magic Me and The L&Q Foundation teamed up with George Mitchell Primary School for the Quality Street Project. Our plan was that two years, three generations of residents in Leyton would come together to create new connections through art projects, celebrations and street festivals.
Quality Street – Year 1
Our first year of activities saw three different groups Generations United, Wonderful Wednesdays, and Our Celebrations come together in one joyful celebration – Meet the Street – in June 2019. Over 300 participants, fellow pupils, friends, family and neighbours took part in the event which involved processions, percussion, kites, costumes, bunting and the unveiling of a new mural on the wall of the playground.
We, as a school, feel very privileged to have been chosen to be part of this intergenerational project over the next two years. It is so important for our children to value older people in our community and to learn from them but also have a unique opportunity to work closely with them together for a goal they will all be part of and enjoy.
Helen Williams, Senior Deputy Head and Head of Primary at George Mitchell School Primary
Quality Street – Year 2
In Autumn 2019, we kicked of year two of Quality Street with Tapestry Tuesdays led by artist Kathryn Horak-Hallett with guest artist Polly Beestone. Year 4 pupils from George Mitchell Primary School and residents from Albany Court came together to share their experiences of the local area and explore places which were important to the community. Find out more about it here.
At the start of year two we recruited people who lived in Leyton to be part of the Quality Street working group, helping take the project into the future. We were keen to involve the widest age range of people: parents of pupils at George Mitchell Primary School, L&Q residents, older people living in the area, artists and keen volunteers.
In March 2020, we were about to begin our next project with partners, however due to the changing circumstances of COVID-19 we were sadly unable to do this.
Between March and December 2020 we adapted projects and worked remotely with pupils at George Mitchell Primary and residents living at Albany Court and Gelebelands, extra care schemes. During this time, the Quality Street working group met regularly online and continued supporting projects.
We ran three remote projects during this time, Our Story, Our Street, WE BLOOM Festival Day and The Colours of Us. These became part of Magic Me’s At Home Together programme, continuing to build connections between older and younger people even when we couldn’t be together in-person.
About our partner and funder:
The L&Q Foundation develops and funds social interventions that improve people’s chances in life and creates opportunities in our communities. Alongside this they invest in activities that increase opportunity and aspiration for both individuals and the wider communities they create and manage. They continue to work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for their residents and the greatest social return on their investment.
Photos in featured image by Samia Meah