Bringing together the young and old

A group of elderly residents have proved you are never too old to learn new tricks as they keep up with a latest craze.

An intergenerational project got into full swing at Southgate Court – one of North Tyneside Council’s sheltered housing schemes – as young and old came together to learn zumba.

The 11 to 90-year-olds took part in ‘Zumba Gold’, a low-impact version of the fitness class.

Following this, the young people made healthy smoothies for the older residents.

And due to its success, the instructor will return to the establishment in Longbenton each week.

Resident Freena Telfer, 90, said: “I enjoyed the class and I’m really happy it’s coming back.

“The young people were also great; they looked after us and were very kind.”

The inter-generational project, ‘Recycled Teenager’, involves members of the local authority’s Young People’s Police and Community Safety Group.

Bethan Corner, 13 the chair of the group, said: “The residents were a lot of fun. Much to our surprise, it was their idea to do the Zumba Gold class.

“The Recycled Teenager project went really well – we worked with groups of people that may feel threatened by young people and showed that we’re not out to cause trouble.”

Paul Hanson, deputy chief executive at the council and who took part in the class, said: “The class was a resounding success – it was wonderful to see the natural interaction.”

He added: “The young people have been working really hard on this intergenerational project, giving up their spare time over the last few months to develop a range of activities, and they’re a real credit to themselves.”