Young and old teach each other new skills

Young and old teach each other new skills

Stan Cummings and Jim Tebay learn about iPads and new technology with 17-year-old Chloe McIlwraith

Umamah Kala, Jane Sweetlove and Zainab Fazal team up to practise crafts

Knitters Jean and Luther Redman

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

YOUNG people cannot get enough of knitting and dominoes while senior citizens are finding out about the new world of apps and tablet computers.

Every fortnight, Turton School sixth formers and local pensioners get together to share their world — with A-level students learning traditional crafts, such as knitting and enjoy playing traditional games such as draughts and dominos.

The Turton Intergenerational Ageing Well Sessions (TIGWAS), which form part of the sixth-formers’ “complementary studies” lessons, are so popular that they are now oversubscribed with students.

Zainab Fazal, aged 17, said: “My brother used to attend these sessions and talked about them so much that I chose it too.

“It is amazing. I have developed so many personal skills and found out about new hobbies, like rag rugging, which I had not come across before.”

Umamah Kala, aged 16, added: “We teach the older generation about iPhones and Android smartphones.

“We are learning from each other and for us it is about learning about the traditions and history.”

Laura Dunkerley, aged 17, added: “I never thought I would be doing knitting. Taking part in something like this is different and I enjoy it.

“It is important because it makes the older generation more approachable and they are fun.” TIGWAS, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this week, started when Age UK asked if it could hold its luncheon group at the school.

Former English teacher Jane Sweetlove developed the group into TIGWAS.

Luther Redman, aged 90, from Over Hulton, said: “I have been coming for three years.

“We play different games with them and the students seem to enjoy it. “We also enjoy theatre trips and meals as a group.”

Doris Taylor, aged 93, from Harwood, said: “Today iPads are in and games are out.

“We do all sorts of different things and it is marvellous. I wish it was every week. I look forward to coming.

“I started coming when the group was started. I stopped for a while because it clashed with something else, but I have been back for six months now and the group is much bigger.” The Mayor of Bolton Cllr Colin Shaw was invited to share in the special birthday celebrations.

Mrs Sweetlove said: “This group is oversubscribed. The young people really enjoy it. If one of the group hasn’t turned up, they get very concerned.

“Sessions like this are about supporting each other and is about citizenship.”

To take part email or ring 01204 332866.

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