The benefits of continuity
Working with a key partner (George Mitchell Primary School) across two years to connect them with local care settings and older people’s organisations meant that staff in those organisations became familiar with the Quality Street programme and open to future connections with each other.
Staff who were involved talk about it a lot – for example the Y4 class teacher was very proactive wanting to connect with Albany Court over the lockdown periods, she made hampers and cards with her class”
Head Teacher, George Mitchell Primary
Creating sustainable relationships is at the heart of our wider schools and communities work both through our Arts & Ages programme and our women’s project. Encouragingly despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic George Mitchell Primary School took the lead in keeping pupils connected with the older people they worked with by sending cards and letters, alongside creative projects led by Magic Me.
Creating long-term support
Regular opportunities for local people to volunteer on Quality Street helped build long-term support for intergenerational projects within the community. Across two years projects were supported by 45 volunteers including students from nearby universities, members of the community recruited through social prescribing and parents from George Mitchell Primary School. The 10 members of the steering group also supported the project on a voluntary basis, attending regular meetings, designing and distributing resources, supporting artists and running a remote festival day (July 2020). Several members of the group have offered to continue supporting the school to connect with older residents as Magic Me withdraws.
The impact of working long-term
46% of older participants (23 out of 50 people) were ‘long-term’, meaning they took part in 5 sessions or more.
65% of these took part in more than one project, demonstrating the desire to continue taking part in regular activities
100% of older participants from Glebelands extra care scheme (14 people) took part in more than one project. High engagement and retention of participants at Glebelands is testament to high levels of staff commitment and support on-site, and emphasises the vital role care staff play in engaging and supporting older people to take part in activities.
12 older people living in care settings continued to engage with the project remotely (March – December 2020) receiving over 100 wellbeing calls, undertaking 41 creative sessions with artists over the phone and completing 26 creative activities via post. This programme of activity contributed to 6 artistic outcomes in a range of media.
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