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Intergenerational Afternoon Tea and Planning Meeting Strengthens Community Bonds at Westbourne School

On 24th April 2024, Westbourne School hosted an intergenerational afternoon tea and planning meeting, fostering connections between pupils, teachers, and leaders of organisations representing the elderly in South West Sheffield. The event welcomed participants from esteemed organisations such as Harmony Music School, Age UK Sheffield, Sheffield50+, T17 (Transport 17), Outram Fields, Sheffield City Council, Oaks and Acorns, and Well with Nature.

During the event, attendees gathered in groups, comprising pupils, visitors, and staff members, enjoying delightful afternoon tea and listening to our school orchestra while getting to know each other. Mrs. Wilcox, the Director of Futures at Westbourne School, addressed the gathering, highlighting the mutual benefits of intergenerational connections. Each participant introduced themselves and their respective groups, exchanging ideas for collaborative activities and engaging in a brainstorming session using mind maps on each table.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the significance of intergenerational events and the numerous benefits they offer to both younger and older participants. These benefits include fostering understanding, breaking down stereotypes, promoting empathy, and providing valuable learning opportunities. The ultimate goal is to inspire other schools and groups working with the elderly to recognise and appreciate the potential achievements for both ageing populations and young people through collaborative efforts.

One Year 10 pupil expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We’ve got to do this!” She is currently organising for the school to host one of Harmony Music School’s tea dances, along with four other Year 10 pupils. They plan to learn one of the dances and choreograph another to teach the group.

Such activities aim to instil a heightened sense of community among pupils and demonstrate the positive impact of interacting with different demographics. Westbourne School believes in fostering social cohesion, strengthening relationships, and enhancing well-being within society. By involving young people in community initiatives, the school aims to cultivate a spirit of active participation and encourage them to replicate these efforts in their future communities.

Looking ahead, Westbourne School is planning to host two Wellbeing in Nature days, one in June and another in November. Additionally, we are in the initial stages of planning to host a tea dance with Harmony Music School and are exploring opportunities to collaborate with seniors across the South West Local Area Committee areas in activities focused on welcoming spaces, combating loneliness and isolation, and organising friendship lunches.


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