Crossing the Divide in Buckhaven

OLDER PEOPLE at a retirement housing development in Buckhaven are narrowing the generational gap with the help of their local high school.

Tenants at Bield’s Braehead Gardens have been enjoying weekly visits from second and third year pupils from Levenmouth Academy as part of Fife Council’s Community Learning and Development project, ‘Crossing the Divide’.

The project, which started on 21 March, supports young people to facilitate intergenerational activities for older people in their local community. Since starting, the group have taken part in a wide range of activities, from playing bingo to making clay hedgehogs.

Tenant Jan Anderson, 70, said: “It has been such a pleasure to spend time with younger people and get to know and understand what life is like for them.

“The project has proved really successful in narrowing the gap felt by younger and more mature people in the community. I am sure everyone here would welcome their company and enthusiasm anytime.”

Pupil Rori Fiorelli said: “It’s been fun and educational learning about their childhoods and what life was like growing up.”

The project has been facilitated by Scott Meikle, Community Education Worker at Fife Council. Scott works closely with pupils and tenants to offer support and gather feedback about the activities, to ensure that everyone is benefiting.

Scott said: “It has truly been a pleasure watching these two separate generations come together and grow to become one group.”

Amy Telford, Volunteer Development Worker at Bield, said: “Community engagement and volunteering play such an important part in helping our tenants and service users to live their lives to the full, as well as tackling loneliness and isolation.

“We’re so grateful to Scott and the young people for their support. It was fantastic to see how much the group have gelled and it’s clear that the pupils have benefited as much as our tenants have.”

Bield is currently looking for volunteers in Leven, Fife. Can you help? For more information please visit www.bield.co.uk or call 0131 273 4029.

Bield has been providing high quality housing and related services in Scotland for more than 40 years, investing, changing and innovating its services and operations to address the needs of the next generation of older people.