Making Pals at Bishopsmead Lodge

It’s been a busy and fun-filled summer for residents at Bishopsmead Lodge Care Home in Bishopsworth as they teamed up with youth-led charity Young Bristol for a series of intergenerational day trips and meet-ups, as part of a ‘Making Pals’ project led by Bristol-based charity Alive.  

Making Pals is a community engagement project that encourages care homes to find new ways to connect their residents with people and spaces outside of the home. Through the initiative Bishopsmead Lodge residents have struck up warm friendships with young people from Hartcliffe Youth Club during day trips to Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Zoo. More activities are planned over the coming months and since their outings Young Bristol members have been visiting residents regularly.

Francaise Miles, Home Manager at Bishopsmead Lodge Care Home in Bishopsworth, Bristol, said:

“It’s hard to over-estimate the benefit of this project to our residents. The initial session was supposed to be an ice-breaker but in truth very little intervention was required because our residents and the young people hit it off so well from the word go.

“By the time they set off for Weston-super-Mare there were already some firm friendships in the group – in which ages ranged from 9 to 103!

“We’ve been incredibly impressed by Alive and Young Bristol’s thoughtful approach to working with older people. The sessions are fun and creative and go beyond entertainment to really engage our residents - it’s been a privilege to work with them this summer.”

Faye Joines, Creative Programmer at Young Bristol said:

“It’s been wonderful to see the bonds developing between our young people and their older neighbours. We weren’t sure how the young people would react spending time in a residential care home but they were very relaxed and they enjoyed chatting with their new friends and sharing stories.

“This type of intergenerational experience is a brilliant way of encouraging empathy and understanding between young and old and really helps to build strong ties across the local community. We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to partner with Alive for this project.”

Emma Dyer, Project Manager at Making Pals said:

“The genuine friendship that have developed between Bishopsmead Lodge and Young Bristol through our Making Pals project shows the fun people of all ages can have together and why it’s so important that we challenge perceptions of care home life and break down barriers between generations.

“We’d like to thank Bishopsmead Lodge and Young Bristol for their enthusiastic participation to date, and look forward to more successful get-togethers over the coming months. This partnership has been a pilot and due to its success we are now starting on the same journey with two more care homes.”

Date published: 25 September 2018

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