‘Genuine friendships’ forged through Larne art project

Taking part in the art class are Ray Millar, Nikki McCrudden and June Rea. INLT 06-203-AM
Taking part in the art class are Ray Millar, Nikki McCrudden and June Rea. INLT 06-203-AM
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School pupils and nursing home residents have teamed up together on an inter-generational art initiative in Larne.

The project was co-ordinated by Linking Generations Northern Ireland and funded by the Big Lottery Peoples’ Project Award.

Artist Brendan McAfee with pupils from Roddensvale School and residents of Gillaroo Nursing Home preparing some art. INLT 06-201-AM

Artist Brendan McAfee with pupils from Roddensvale School and residents of Gillaroo Nursing Home preparing some art. INLT 06-201-AM

It saw residents of Gillaroo Lodge Nursing Home and students from Roddensvale School brushing up on their art skills to create a piece of work featuring many of the landmarks around the town.

The art sessions, which concluded on Friday, were facilitated by Brendan McAfee, an art teacher in Roddensvale.

After viewing photographs and images of Larne - both past and present - participants created their own drawings and paintings.

Ken Irvine, Regional Development worker, Linking Generations Northern Ireland, explained: “The students helped the residents along with the staff of the nursing home and school. This interaction lead to the discovery of how joyful it was to participate in art. Prior to meeting the residents, the students completed a dementia awareness training course to assist communication.

Enjoying the art session at Gilaroo Lodge Nursing Home are residents and pupils from Roddensvale School. INLT 06-200-AM

Enjoying the art session at Gilaroo Lodge Nursing Home are residents and pupils from Roddensvale School. INLT 06-200-AM

“Genuine friendships were created and there are plans to develop the links through residents visiting the school and future projects together overcoming social isolation and developing relationships.

“Creating opportunities for older and younger people to engage can help form better communities and see areas become more age friendly.”