Intergenerational Celebration at Debdale Park

Clayton Park and Debdale bowling club were the venues for a unique intergenerational celebration on Thursday March 3rd.

Care & Repair’s successful approach to DIY training brought together older residents with young people to share experiences while making lasting improvements to one of Manchester’s hidden gems the 17th century moated Manor House – Clayton Hall.

This part of Manchester City Council’s intergenerational project used DIY skills training to inspire young people and older people to work together. Ninety-one young and old residents had one-day DIY taster sessions, 15 of them chose to work intensively together for 6 days to learn further skills and to transform a run-down and cluttered out-building into a visitor centre for Clayton Hall.

The 15 strong team ranged in age from 17 to 86 years old. At the celebration they handed over a revamped out-building that is now ready for use by local volunteers, “Friends of Clayton Hall”, in their exciting work to bring history to life for local children.

“We learnt about those metric measures and those blackberry phones” said Peter aged 68.

“The DIY training makes me more confident to tackle jobs myself at home, and it is great to contribute to the community” said Dorothy aged 86.

“This is a real achievement, my Grand-dad would be proud of me” said Stephanie aged 17.

Jim Lewis who has run this programme over the last 18 months congratulated the enthusiastic group of DIYers. “You were uncertain at the start, and in the beginning you worked as two separate groups. I’ve seen you develop in confidence and skills and really work co operatively together as a group.” Jim issued certificates and challenged the group to an intergenerational bowling contest at Debdale Park.

After chatting with the group over a coffee Janette Linacre, Care & Repair’s Services Director said “I can see this experience has certainly broken down some barriers and blown away some preconceptions. The younger generation showed that they are not all “Hoodies with an ASBO” and they learnt people are far from a “fossil” when they reach retirement”.

Maggie Walker, Chief Exec at Care & Repair said, “There won’t be council funding for these DIY training activities next year. We don’t want these  exciting projects  to end so we are looking at bringing in commercial sponsorship or other support to continue. We’ve even approached the “People’s Millions” TV programme to look for their support.

Maggie added: “It is great to have a public celebration, as most of Manchester Care & Repair’s work is very hidden. Our thousands of poor and vulnerable clients don’t want to publicise their need for our help, and we can’t always clearly measure the precise impact we’ve had on their lives. Yet we constantly hear how our practical assistance makes all the difference in helping older residents to manage at home.”

Any older person who needs practical help to keep their home safe and warm can contact Manchester Care & Repair on 0161 872 5500.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 3:02 pm and is filed under Press Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through our RSS feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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