Pupils enjoy some new friendships

Members of the Young at Heart group at Norham High School.
Members of the Young at Heart group at Norham High School.
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Friendship has blossomed in the community thanks to a school’s special club.

Norham High School has created the Young at Heart Club for older people to visit the North Shields school on the last Friday of the month to spend time with pupils.

Ann Hall with Year 7 pupil Sophie Wallis at the Young at Heart group at Norham High School.

Ann Hall with Year 7 pupil Sophie Wallis at the Young at Heart group at Norham High School.

The two generations chat over lunch and take part in fun activities including bingo sessions and an intergenerational quiz.

As well as being a social event, the pupils help their older friends with IT skills, and in return the young people are taught more traditional skills such as knitting and crochet.

The Young at Heart Club was the idea of Norham’s School Council following a really successful intergenerational Christmas lunch with St Peter’s Church in North Shields.

Year 7 pupil Sophie Wallis, said: “The Young at Heart Club is a great opportunity for our school and our local community to strengthen our links.

Members of the Young at Heart group at Norham High School enjoy cakes and a chat.

Members of the Young at Heart group at Norham High School enjoy cakes and a chat.

“It’s also a chance for our local older residents to really get to know some of our amazing pupils and break down some of the barriers that older people and young people can sometimes have.

“It has been really lovely to see the relationships between us all blossom and strengthen each time the group meets, and it’s something we all really look forward to organising and taking part in.”

Betty Foster, 86 and from North Shields, said: “I love coming into this school. The pupils are just lovely and it’s joy to spend time with them. This is such a lovely club to come along to.”

“It all started from the beautiful meal we all had together at Christmas and I’m so glad the students wanted to keep it going.”

Ann Hall, 76 and from Tynemouth, added: “I love coming along to these groups. They’re absolutely fantastic.

“I love seeing the pupils and I’m really looking forward to picking up some new skills from them. I’m especially looking forward to our sessions on using iPads and I’m hoping they can teach me a thing or too!”

Executive headteacher David Baldwin added: “We’re extremely proud of our pupils and the work they’ve done to reach out to members of our community and build these great friendships.

“It’s wonderful to welcome our local residents into Norham High School and to know that they really enjoy their time spent with us.”

Norham High School council members have recently been successful in securing £450 from North Tyneside Council’s Young Mayor’s Community Fund so that they can continue to run the club for as long as possible.

North Tyneside’s Young Mayor Kieran Archer said: “Young at Heart has my respect and my congratulations.

“It’s important that young people contribute to our community and it’s admirable that this group is helping older people and, by doing so, strengthening the bond between young and old.”