A project which brings together residents of all ages to increase understanding between the generations has been successfully completed in Consett.

The popular Ageless Project, which is run by growing landlord Karbon Homes, encourages young and old people to discuss a wide range of topics including money, jobs, housing, relationships, food and diet with the aim of increasing understanding between the generations.

The project has been funded by construction company, MGM Ltd and is delivered by Jeanette Harold, Director of Social Enterprise at CONTiNUUM CIC.

Students from Consett Academy and residents from Haven House in Leadgate, a scheme for over 55s run by Karbon Homes, have been meeting weekly to take part in the project.

MGM Ltd has funded the project as part of Karbon Homes’ Unlocking Social Value Project. The initiative encourages Karbon’s contractors to contribute time and money to the local area where they are working and MGM are currently carrying out structural work to Karbon Homes’ properties.

During the sessions, participants discuss different aspects of their lives including education, hobbies and future aspirations.

Jeanette Harold said: “I am delighted that our Ageless Project has been supported by Karbon Homes and MGM Ltd.  The project continues to be popular across the generations.  We are responsive to local participants and each project reflects this.  It is one of my favourite projects and the sharing of lives, the laughter and the increased learning and understanding never ceases to impress me. Our participants always want more and CONTiNUUM hope that Karbon Homes can help residents to develop similar activities in the future.  We know that amongst our participants are people with the skills to organise and support this.”

Michelle Graham, Employment Initiatives Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “After successfully running this project previously, we are very grateful for the funding from MGM Ltd which has allowed us to run this course for our residents in Consett. The project highlights how much times have changed as some of the younger people have been quite shocked to find out that the earlier generations had no mobile phones or television when they were growing up and it’s become quite a talking point.

“As well as highlighting the differences between the generations, it has also shown how much they have in common.  There is an increased level of respect between the generations and we are all very grateful that it’s had such positive results.”

Charley Matthews, 13, from Delves Lane is one of the volunteers from Consett Academy.  She said, “It’s been a really good project to get involved with.  Most of my family are young so it was a good opportunity to connect with older people to find out what life was like when they were younger. A lot has changed over the years but I was really surprised to learn that when they were younger, they left school at the age of 14 to get a job.  It also sounded a lot less stressful in those days.  I’d like to keep in touch with the residents of Haven House – I feel like I’ve built a good relationship.”

Gary Dillon, Director at MGM Ltd, said: “Working in the heart of Consett was a delight for MGM to be involved in engaging the local community in this project. Seeing the older generations mixing with the young people was a pleasure. We always try to give something back to the communities in which we are working and to see the results of how they have bonded and shown respect for each other is amazing.”

The residents and students took part in a celebration event held at Haven House this week where they were presented with certificates and reflected on what they had learnt.

For more information about The Ageless Project, please contact Jeanette Harold on 07872 058 175 or emailjeanette.harold@continuumcic.co.uk

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