Arts project brings old and young together

Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) residents at two supported schemes in East London joined forces with kids from a local school to produce colourful artworks, culminating in an arts festival during the summer.
Albany Court and Glebelands, two extra care schemes for older people in Leyton, took part in the Quality Street project that saw several residents team up with pupils from George Mitchell Primary School.
Residents attended sessions at the school and the children would also come to the schemes to share skills and experiences through creative activities such as filmmaking, building puppets, storytelling or visual arts.
The project started in March and finished with the festival at the primary school in June.
Beckie Seward, operations manager at NHG, said: “The Quality Street project is a partnership between the Magic Me arts charity, L&Q Foundation and George Mitchell school, and is designed to bring together three generations of residents in Leyton.
“We were delighted to be a part of this and everyone really enjoyed working with the children. A lot of our residents don’t always have the opportunity to see much of their own grandchildren or don’t have family that live nearby, so having young people around was a breath of fresh air for them.
“Likewise, it was a good experience for the children who may be a bit wary of older people, and it was clear that both learned a lot from each other.”
The festival at the school brought together not just the NHG residents but everyone else involved with the Quality Street project, and included a carnival procession where various artworks – including masks and flags – were displayed.
Beckie continued: “This experience has been great for our residents’ wellbeing. We continue to be involved with Quality Street, and are currently in the process of organising resident involvement in the Inside Out Project.
Older residents and young adult neighbours will come together with artists, as makers/curators of large-scale artworks which will be displayed inside and outside the homes. We also hope to engage in other projects with the primary school later in the year.”
Resident Christina Flight said: “I enjoyed every bit of the Magic Me Project. It was wonderful.”
Another resident, Fatima Tutal, agreed: “I was happy getting involved with the children in creating all the costumes. The Magic Me project has made me popular; when I go to the park and hear my name being called by the children, I feel over the moon!”