Students’ special lunches bridge generation gap - The Evesham Observer

Students’ special lunches bridge generation gap

Evesham Editorial 18th Jan, 2018   0

A NEW project to tackle loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly has been launched in Evesham.

Evesham College, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Evesham, is organising a series of events where young and older people can mix, interact and enjoy themselves.

As part of the ‘Bridging Generations’ project, 20 guests welcomed to college on Monday for a two-course lunch followed by entertainment in the form of bingo.

The project’s main objective is to connect young and older people over food and social activities and several more events are being planned for the coming months.




Social isolation is believed to affect about one million older people in the UK, and has a severe impact on people’s quality of life in older age.

Louise Badham, head of department, supported learning, re-engagement and schools at Evesham College, said: “This project allows students to interact with the wider community in a real life scenario and learn new skills.


“They have been involved in every aspect of this event such as planning the menu, cooking the food and serving the dishes. I am very proud of what they have achieved.”

The seasonal home-cooked lunch was expertly prepared and served by the students on the Supported Learning catering course, whilst the Health and Social Care students welcomed guests, joined in with the lunch and then led the afternoon’s entertainment.

Student Kady Chaplin, 16 from Evesham, said: “It’s been a fun project to be involved in and has been a new opportunity for me. I have learnt new skills such as teamwork and the importance of timing.

“I would be interested in working in a local cafe or restaurant when I finish college so this gives me a really useful learning experience.”

The founder of the project is Hein van der Steen, vice president of the Rotary Club of Evesham.

“An ageing population, family members not living nearby and hearing, sight or mobility challenges can lead to social isolation of more and more people within our communities,” he said.

“Therefore, attending a simple event like this where they can enjoy some social interaction can have a really positive impact on an older person’s well being.”

Pauline Prew, from Evesham, who came with her friend Betty Powell, also from Evesham, said: “I live alone, so coming out today has been wonderful! The meal was delicious and the students have been so very warm and welcoming.

“The interaction between young and older people benefits both groups. I’ll definitely be coming back again.”

Rosalyn Lambert, head of department for sport, public services, hospitality, counselling and care at the college, said: “The benefits of running this project are huge.

“All our hospitality and care students have a mandatory 200 hours of work experience as part of their course so this project helped by giving them an opportunity to do some of these hours in a meaningful way.

“It’s been a really positive experience working in partnership with another department and, importantly, it all helps make Evesham College part of the wider community.”

The next lunches are on February 12, March 12 and April 23 from midday to 2pm and anyone interested should call Carol Stayte on 01386 712682 to book a place.

Tickets cost £5 per person and transport can be arranged if required.

Visit therotaryclubofevesham.org.uk for more information.

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