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Children and older people come together through therapeutic food activity

Children and older people come together through therapeutic food activity

Children and older people from Hebden Bridge came together this week to share experiences and learn new skills through the power of ‘good food’.

The intergenerational day saw 22 Year 3 pupils from Hebden Royd Primary School visit Together Housing’s sheltered housing scheme for over 60s Mytholm Court and extra care complex Mytholm Meadows.

In the morning, the children worked with the older people to make mint and currant pasties from a wartime Yorkshire recipe, with fresh mint picked from the garden of Mytholm Court. In the afternoon, they took part in a rooting and fruiting activity, working with a horticultural therapist to create a food forest of berry plants, lemon mint and camomile.

The day was organised by Soil Association Food for Life as part of its Better Care programme. Kerry Page, a Public Health Nutritionist and the local manager for the programme said: “Days like this are about harnessing the power of good food to improve health and wellbeing. Food is a great leveller – we may have different backgrounds and cultures but we all have a common denominator in food. Through growing, cooking and eating together, food can start conversations and as such is a great way of connecting older and younger people.”

Joan Coyne, 87, paired up with Holly, aged eight, to make the pasties together.

Joan said: “It’s been many years since I baked, it brings back good memories. It takes me right back to when I was in school doing domestic science.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of today. I have 10 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren but I rarely see them as they are scattered all over so it has been wonderful to have the children visit us.”

Holly said: “I’ve enjoyed learning about how Joan used to cook in the war. She told me that she used to make marmalade with carrots because oranges were rationed.”

Sue Lewis, Head of Supported Housing at Together Housing, said: “In today’s society, there are fewer opportunities for different generations to get together, have fun together and learn from each other. Getting outside to do some gardening together is a great way to do just that, as well as the chance to get some fresh air and (so far so good this year!) some sunshine too.

“It’s a pleasure and a delight that part of what we do in our supported housing schemes is create opportunities to bring young and older people together.” 

Holly And Joan Making Mint And Currant Pasties

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