Blethering Buddies


30th March 2018

A VOLUNTARY project that brings together pupils from a Dundee secondary school with residents of a local sheltered housing complex has scooped a national award.

Harris Academy’s Blethering Buddies scheme picked up the new intergenerational project trophy at the recent Generations Working Together awards.

Topping the shortlist of projects running for less than 12 months the Harris pupils have been dropping into the Corso Street Sheltered Housing Service to share stories, experiences, crafts and fund-raising activities.

The S3 and S4 pupils are all part of The Prince's Trust Achieve Programme and have also been on trips with the residents, of their choosing, to St Andrews for lunch and Dundee Transport Museum.

And now Warryn White, Lennon Pollard, Liam Cahill, Candice Lawrence, Declan Knapp, Kelsey Walker and FP Jordan Cord have turned the tables by inviting some of the residents to look round the multi-million pound school campus on Perth Road.

Cllr Bill Campbell Dundee City Council’s spokesperson on children and young people said: “Speaking as someone with a few grey hairs myself I am really pleased that a project like this has brought together what are so often regarded as the two ends of the age spectrum.

“Each generation has experiences that people of any age can identify with and sharing them is a great way of bringing us all closer together.”

Cllr Anne Rendall who attended the Generations Working Together conference and awards ceremony and speaks for the council on behalf of older people added: “Intergenerational working is something that I am really interested in and there are some fantastic projects where people of all ages are talking and sharing experiences together and just enjoying each other’s company.

“The new Harris Academy building is a modern learning and teaching environment that I’m sure will be a real eye opener for some of the visitors from Corso Street.”

Awarding body Generations Working Together provides information, delivers support and encourages involvement to benefit all of Scotland’s generations, by working, learning, volunteering and living together.

Backed by staff at the school Pam Cook, Support for Learning Teacher, Karen Boath, Pupil Support Worker and Fran Flynn, ASNA and other volunteers the project has built such strong bonds that none of the participants misses a single session and it goes from strength to strength.

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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