13 Jun 2011

It seems sweet potatoes and roast chicken may be the keys to building relationships within a community.

A group of young and older people, as part of The Children's Society’s Intergenerational Community Cohesion Project, recently worked together to organise a roast dinner at the Middle Park Community Centre in Greenwich. Their goal was to develop positive relationships, attitudes and experiences between young and older people in four local areas in Greenwich.

Other than a few crunchy Yorkshire puddings, the event was a great success. The two generations were able to come together in a relaxed environment to learn more about one another and have fun.

Come dine with us

Over the course of the evening, Sylvie Goldsmith shared some of her cooking secrets with Billy Levingbird, 12, and they later seasoned  the chicken together. Stan Wright was finally encouraged to taste sweet potatoes, after over 80 years of being cautious of trying them. Timi Oslbody, 16, organised the music by getting people's requests of their favourite songs from the past and present.

'I really enjoyed being together with everybody,' said Marg Montgomery, 79, who usually eats on her own in the evening.

'Since this project has been going on, I feel safer in my community'

The group, comprised mostly of members of a Monday afternoon bingo club and young people from the youth centre, met for the first time in February. They meet regularly to plan events such as the roast dinner and to discuss ways to improve relationships within their community.

'Since this project has been going on, I feel safer in my community. I feel like I can just walk through where I live without a worry at all since I know everyone,' said Bradlee Gardiner, 14.

This is just one of the activities that The Children's Society is doing as part of the Intergenerational Community Cohesion Project.