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In April 2017, Bridging Ages was awarded a development grant from the National Lottery Fund. We'll use that money to develop Life Stories and make it available throughout the country.
What's Life Stories?
After special training, teenagers are paired with older people and visit them in their homes. With the help of an interview workbook, the older participant tells the student about their lives. Over the course of eight visits and with the support of Bridging Ages, the students then write a Life Stories book for the older person. The books are professionally printed and then presented to the elderly participant at an afternoon tea. Friends and family are also invited and it is a celebration of all ages.
What does it do?
A Life Stories book is an important family document for future generations. Families can order more copies and usually do! However, the real value of the project lies in the process of making the books. The visits give support to older people who may be lonely. The conversations stimulate reflection on a life lived and honour that life. Young people get an opportunity to hear a first-hand account of history and learn from previous generations. The realisation that old people were “young once too!” develops empathy and respect. In addition, the students meet the tremendous scholastic challenge of actually writing a book! Perhaps most importantly, the Life Stories Project builds trust between generations – and that makes our communities stronger.
We are in the process of building partnerships between schools, elderly housing associations, village councils, historical societies, youth groups and libraries. We are also seeking corporate sponsorship and advice from relevant professionals.
Please contact us if you are interested at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.