So the votes are in for the People’s Millions and huge congratulations to London Play and Assembly SE8 who won with Old Hands at Mud Pies. They have won £43,232 to help reduce social isolation among older people in Lewisham by involving them in a vibrant outdoor play project.
The ‘Old Hands at Mud Pies’ project is based on a simple truth: children and older people enjoy being around each other. Children’s energy and enthusiasm can be infectious and brings out the playful side in everyone. Older people have a lifetime’s experience to share and often as parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents, can quickly connect with children. However, some older people become isolated as their families move away and perhaps fear of crime, ill health or loss of confidence prevents them from forming new connections within their community. Meanwhile, in a borough with the highest proportion of single parents in London, many Deptford youngsters are missing the influence of older people in their lives.
This is an ideal setting in which to involve older people at a level they are comfortable with, be it planting and digging and building, or sharing childhood stories and games with young people. The sessions will make older people feel valued, energised and connected and give them a space to contribute their ideas and skills in an environment where their participation makes a difference.
However, all was not lost for Shed Heaven who won the People’s Millions Bonus Award and therefore also won £50,000 towards their project. Shed Heaven, in Grove Park, Lewisham, will pass on to local young and inexperienced people real woodworking and practical skills. And Shed Heaven will mentor and teach newcomers how to run community music workshops, radio plays, etc.
The new facilities will be used to deliver activities open to all age groups to allow for shared learning between generations.
This is fantastic news for everyone involved. Massive congratulations to everyone that put the time and effort in to writing these bids. You should all be very proud of yourselves. Both projects are going to make a huge difference to the people of Lewisham.