As the nation looks back to commemorate the final months of WW1 leading up to November 11 and the Armistice, primary schools across England and Wales are signing up for projects that will link them with older people in their communities.
The Golden-Oldies charity started in November 2007 in the West Country. There are now 160 daytime Sing & Smile sessions supported by an army of volunteers across Southern England, Yorkshire, the Midlands, Devon, Cornwall, Essex and in South Wales, as Goldies Cymru. More fondly referred to just as “Goldies” thousands attend the fun singalongs at church halls, Libraries and community rooms.
Eight years ago, charity founder Grenville Jones launched an intergenerational programme for schools, encouraging them to open their doors to older people in their communities. The most recent programme in 2014 ran across the South West and was based on the first two years of WW1. Hundreds of schools took part with heritage and memorabilia days, concerts and special events. This new programme encourages primary schools to commemorate the final months of WW1 leading up to November 11 and the anniversary of the Armistice.
The programme is supported by a website, available at www.ourmemories.org.uk
It offers free access to a host of project ideas for primary schools as well as easy to sing WW1 medleys, specially commissioned by the charity for children and older people to sing together. The website also gives details of the unique 30 minute Armistice Cantata production, written by the children from Thornhill Primary School, Cardiff and available for all schools to access.
“We have already been inundated by requests from schools, museums and libraries to take part,” said Grenville Jones.
The WW1 Goldies programme is supported by a number of organisations including Heritage Lottery England and Wales, the Garfield Weston Foundation the Royal British Legion and the Moondance Foundation in Wales.