This year, there has been much deliberation over whether to give gifts and produce a Pentillie 2017 Christmas Card. In the end we decided not to and this is the reason why…
Inspired by Bray Leino’s Christmas activity in 2016 (spotted on their blog) – instead of sending gifts and cards, they hosted AGE UK members to an extremely cheery Christmas lunch – we took a leaf from their book and put our energy into doing something similar for a really incredible charity. So on the 21st December 2017 we hosted a festive lunch for the Silver Listeners of the Silver Stories group based in Torpoint.
Silver Stories is a project set up by Headteacher Elisabeth Carney-Haworth of Torpoint Nursery and Infant School to support both the children and elderly people in the community of Torpoint. We know that as a society there is a real issue with feelings of loneliness and isolation particularly among the older generation, many of whom do not have the opportunity to interact with younger people, and some who may go from one week to another having not spoken to anyone.
This cross-generational community group enables conversations between children at the school and older potentially isolated members of the community. Children telephone a Silver Listener and read a short story or poem to them. This not only helps the children to become more confident in their reading skills but also links our children to the elderly community in Torpoint and helps diminish the chances of elderly residents being overcome by feelings of loneliness. As a Silver Listener all that is required is a telephone, a comfy chair and a listening ear!
Ten Silver Listeners arrived at noon and were invited to relax in the drawing room by the fire with a drink. They were then entertained by some of the children associated with the Silver Stories group who read stories for all. The Listeners were enthralled and before they knew it, it was time for the children to head back home – not empty handed mind you -they were rewarded for their wonderful reading with a Christmas gift to show our appreciation! The Silver Listeners then moved into the dining room for a festive lunch. The cracker pulling began, and was shortly followed by a delicious traditional Christmas dinner – with Christmas Pudding AND trifle for dessert!
It was a wonderful day for all that came and certainly moving for all those that looked on.
If you feel this is a project you would like to know more about please contact Headteacher Elisabeth Carney-Haworth on 01752 812245 or click here.
BBC Spotlight also ended up coming along for the day. The clip is 15 minutes in.