Teenagers make friends with old people

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THERE may be generations between them — but members of a youth club and an old folks’ home have been getting along like the best of friends.

Youngsters from Bolton Lads and Girls Club have been linking up with residents at Beechville Residential Home, Lostock, in order to provide them with company and teach them skills such as using the internet.

The 16 and 17-year-olds are required to provide a service to the community as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) but they have to come up with the ideas and organise activities themselves.

Chloe Mitchell, from the club, said that although the programme only required members to go once or twice to the home, youngsters have planned six visits to Beechville.

“They have really gone above and beyond this year,” she said.

“Some have built a strong connection with some of the Beechville residents. Their goal was to eliminate the stereotypes of young and old.”

The volunteers are also carrying out activities such as board games and henna artwork as part of their Bridging the Gap programme.

Beechville’s volunteer co-ordinator, Mick Salzeger, said the scheme was well-received at the home.

He said that being able to combine the efforts of the club’s members with usual family visits made for a very happy environment.

“We are very grateful,” he added. “Our residents love to talk to young people and they love to be engaged with young people.”

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