Ivydene's older generation game for getting to know Erme Primary youngsters, with help from Phakama

By Toby Leigh in Local People

NURSING home residents and pupils from The Erme Primary School have been sharing memories and life experiences with the help of theatre group Phakama.

The group along with the Ivybridge primary school pupils visited Ivydene nursing home last week as part of Shine! – a two-year national arts programme.

Phakama helped the youngsters tell their stories and put together a celebration for both generations to enjoy during a sharing ceremony.

Children and residents also exchanged memories through artwork and singing. Children drew special moments of their lives, while artists drew special memories of the residents’ lives by working one-to-one. Residents and children shared their drawings with one another, and children learnt and performed songs that had a special meaning for the old folks.

92-year-old resident Betty Cridland said: ‘I absolutely loved seeing the children and hear them sing such wonderful songs.’

Fellow resident Dot Pope, 81, added: ‘The session with Phakama was so inspiring – it was a real eye-opener.’

Eighty-eight year old resident, Jim Henry agreed: ‘I loved sharing my story and memories with the children.’

The home’s activities leader Michelle Shail said: ‘Phakama and their work is so engaging and it’s wonderful how they bring two generations together on such a personal level. Everyone, especially the residents, thoroughly enjoyed hearing the children’s stories and the children genuinely enjoyed hearing from our residents – the whole workshop was so heart-warming, full of smiles, laughter and joy – thank you Phakama.’

Phakama project manager Bibi Francis said: ‘It is beautiful and inspiring to see these two generations uniting and making connections through their individual stories. They don’t often get this chance to come and be creative together.’

Shine! has been funded by Sanctuary Group, the parent company of Sanctuary Care that runs Ivydene.

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