Art helps bridge the generation gap

Children from Howard Park school present their artwork to Church Grange residents.
Children from Howard Park school present their artwork to Church Grange residents.
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Children from Howard Park School have brought a splash of colour to Church Grange retirement living scheme in Cleckheaton.

Tenants at the grange wanted some new artwork for their freshly-decorated communal lounge, so Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) scheme co-ordinator Julie Battison had the bright idea of asking the local school to get involved.

In January, children from year five met up with the tenants, and were also joined by residents from Springfield Flats. They talked about the history and geography of Cleckheaton and some of their memories of growing up and living there. The children then went back to school with ideas for their art projects.

The children have now returned to the grange to present tenants with their completed artwork. The pictures, which are based on the history of Cleckheaton, will be displayed throughout the grange for everyone to enjoy.

Julie said: “We have a very good relationship with Howard Park School and the children have presented nativity plays in the past but this project really had the tenants buzzing. Even those who rarely get involved joined in and had a wonderful time sharing their memories of Cleckheaton.”

Doreen Allison, 79, said: “The pictures are really good and it’s lovely that the children have worked so hard on them. They’re really going to brighten up the corridors.”

The project was funded by a KNH community engagement grant and is one of a number of projects to establish closer links between tenants in its retirement schemes and the wider community, and helping bring generations together so they can learn from each other.