Best Arts Project WINNER – Intergenerational Connections Project

The Intergenerational Connections Project was a multi-partnership project between Mole Valley District Council, Surrey County Council and NHS Surrey Heartlands working alongside GP surgery-based social prescribers, Primary Care Networks, a local primary school and a team of young musicians. The project utilised music and singing to enable connections between local care home residents and Year 6 primary school students in order to remedy the effects of the pandemic on both age groups.

The Intergenerational Connections Project has been selected as one of three winners of the Best Arts Project in the 2022 Hearts for the Arts Awards. In the words of our judges, here’s why:

I particularly love projects like this that bring generations together. It is widely known that care settings really suffered as a result of the Pandemic and this project sounds completely joyful for all concerned. Empathy between young children and older people makes the world a much happier place! Andy Dawson, Inspire Youth Arts, winner of the 2021 HFTA award for Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker

Lovely connection made between the elderly and children in a thoughtful and targeted project, bringing music and singing as part of meaningful interactions between groups who have suffered from pandemic isolation.  It is great that these projects are leading to longer term and further partnerships between care providers. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason: author, speaker and supporter of music education

I absolutely loved the focus on forging friendships in this project, especially as so much of it was intergenerational. The emphasis on volunteering too really impressed me as it displayed an understanding it’s the volunteers themselves who benefit as much as the folk they are lending a hand to. Shaparak Khorsandi: stand-up comedian, writer, all round delight

I confess that reading about The Intergenerational Connections Project made me cry. Loneliness is something that we all encountered in some way over lockdown, and I think it’s probably the first time many of us have been able to properly understand what it must be like for the elderly in times of isolation. It’s wonderful to see the Intergenerational Connections Project using music to find common ground between young and old and help establish what will hopefully become lasting relationships. It’s testament to the success of the project that funding has been secured for 60 other projects in Surrey, and I look forward to following their progress. Anna Lapwood: organist, conductor and broadcaster

Oh my goodness, I encourage all to watch the online videos about the Intergenerational Connections Project – they are heart-warming to watch. This initiative must have made so much difference to both ends of the age spectrum during the pandemic and, crucially, everyone could join in, with music bringing them together. Deborah Meadenbusinesswoman and TV Dragon

I love that the Intergenerational Project has steam rolled into something more lasting just out of sheer need and joy. How incredible that a gesture acquires its own power and replicates itself.  Jack Thorne: screenwriter and playwright

This is a simple, beautiful idea that helps with a real problem: the huge increase in social isolation during the pandemic. Both sides clearly got so much out of the project, finding strength and connection that perhaps they didn’t know they had. I’m really pleased that the idea has gone viral; unlike some viruses we could name, I want it to spread everywhere. Samuel West: actor, director, trustee of the National Campaign for the Arts

Read more about the nomination for the Intergenerational Connections Project here

Intergenerational Connections Project. Photo Credit – Carmel Ring, NHS Surrey Downs CCP

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