Since November 2015, L4A has been working with residents of Pilgrim Home Evington as part of a project called “Tactile Textiles”. This is an intergenerational project which brings together groups of younger volunteers with older people in residential cares settings for sessions of creative textile-based activities.
Each week over the past year in Evington, Leicester, small groups of pupils from Linden primary school have been visiting a group of residents in Pilgrim Home. The combination of 9 and 90 year olds sharing creative activity has been a wonderful success, providing constant opportunities for young and old to share skills, ideas and experiences. Whilst they were choosing fabrics, threading needles and learning how to finger knit, children also heard about what daily life was like long before they were born and the older people learned all about the latest playground crazes. The different ages have happily shared stories of family and pets, favourite sweets and mischievous moments, amongst many other topics! They have thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. “I didn’t think the elderly liked being around children but as soon as we came here I realised that we have a lot in common – the elderly are really interesting” commented one of the children.
One of the many highlights of the project has been celebrating the achievement of making three textile wall hangings, each depicting a verse from ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’. Over the weeks these were stitched from scratch to designs created by the group. Each hanging consisted of six background pieces made by a younger person/older person partnership. Everyone had such fun in making all the elements for these and now the hangings are proudly displayed in the hallway of Pilgrim Home. Throughout the project we have had the absolute invaluable help of Karen Chipps, the Activity Coordinator from Pilgrim Home Evington.