A unique scheme that bridges the generation gap and creates a brighter future for residents of all ages in some of the County Borough’s most deprived areas has once again been celebrated.
The Skills Swap scheme was delivered in four Rhondda Cynon Taf wards thanks to a partnership between the Retired Senior Volunteers Programme (RSVP) and the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Justice Team.The event held this week (Friday 22nd January) in Capel Farm Community Centre, Tonyrefail, marks the launch of the next phase. The first phase of the pilot project began last year and was ran in Pontypridd High school to cover the Glyncoch and Rhydyfelin areas and in Aberdare Girls School to cover the surrounding Aberdare area.
Thanks to a successful bid to the Big Lottery, funding has now been secured to establish Skills Swapping in 16 targeted areas of need throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf over a 3 year period.
The project, which was launched in a bid to break down the barriers between the ages, celebrates how the generations can learn from each other and provide positive role models. It has been an outstanding success, with young and old residents coming together for weekly sessions in which they could learn from each other.
Younger participants, aged between 15-16 years and from local schools, were paired with older volunteers and enjoyed activities such as calligraphy, knitting, building model aeroplanes, and lessons in digital camera use, ipods computing and mobile phones.
It is the latest in a series of successful initiatives to be delivered to identify and target communities by the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Justice Team. This increases social and personal confidence and creates a brighter outlook for the future in terms of employment, training, skills and community participation.
Cllr Annette Davies, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Equality, said: “I am so pleased to see the celebration of yet another scheme in which we were able to work in the heart of some of our most needy communities.
“Intergenerational initiatives such as this are so important as they build bridges between the generations and enable people to learn from each other. In so many of our communities, young people lack a positive older role model, and vice versa, and Skills Swap aims to change this.
“I know the participants have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learned not only some new skills, but also have a greater respect and understanding for those of a different generation and what they can offer individuals and society as a whole.”
RSVP is delighted to be working in partnership with the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Justice Team in piloting this innovative, intergenerational Skills Swap project.
For more information about becoming an RSVP volunteer, contact RSVP on 029 20390477 / 01656 729299 or 07796991292 (mobile).