Paint Pals is an intergenerational art project that builds links in the local community between older people living in Care Homes and children in local schools.
Very often living in residential care can mean having little or no contact with younger generations. We have seen time and time again the benefits of different generations coming together, a visit from children lifts the spirits of residents, improving mental health and bringing happiness.
The Paint Pals project enables older people to build a connection with children, children to give back to their community and everyone involved to have fun creating art. It works by pairing older people with school children. The pairs first correspond by painting post cards so they can learn a little about each other. They then meet up for Paint Pal parties where they can get to know each other better and work on art together.
Paint Pals has been a huge success and from September 2015 there will be 13 Paint Pals projects running across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. The enjoyment for each group has been wonderful to see, and most importantly the project gives an opportunity for older people in care to feel connected with children in their community.
One of the homes taking part in the project, Norewood Lodge, has enjoyed a number of choir recitals from their linked school, High Down Junior School. This is a brilliant example of how the relationships between the Pals can blossom.
It has been really wonderful to see the relationship between the school and care home grow and for the Paint Pals to become a part of school life. The visit this morning went really well, the choir were fantastic, and some of them were able to say hello to their Paint Pals, they were all chatting away! It was so heart warming to see how they were all interacting with the residents, I can’t tell you how much joy it brings our residents to see the young children, with drawing, chatting and singing, it brings back so many special memories for them all. It’s also lovely for the staff to see the interaction, it makes our jobs feel so worthwhile and rewarding, to see the residents so happy. Activities Coordinator
When I sat in last time, I had to again admire your un-phased patience, creativity and skill with the people and the task. You are such a blessing to the residents and to us! Mother of Paint Pal
The children have really enjoyed their visits and we've even had some residents come to school to watch our Easter Performance. It’s such a worthwhile thing to do as both the young and old get so much value from working together and watching their interactions is just a real pleasure. It's a wonderful project for community cohesion and I'd fully recommend it to anyone. St Kenya Primary