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Saturday 30 January 2016

Carving workshops and making a bench for LinkAge in Lawrence Weston, Bristol with younger and older participants

Running workshops for LinkAge is always a lot of fun. They organise projects to try and get young and old people working together, encouraging communication between two groups that might not otherwise come into contact in a positive situation.

I've led several workshops in the west of Bristol for LinkAge previously and it was great to be asked to run these two days at Blaise Weston Court retirement home in Lawrence Weston.

Everything was set up in the main atrium of the building, so residents could drop in and have a go if they wanted to. There were two possible activities; making a simple, shallow relief carving or working together to make a bench from larch timber, to go in the garden of the home.

I hadn't run a session in this kind of environment before and noticed that many people having a go had mobility issues, which would perhaps make going to a venue elsewhere difficult and unappealing. It was great to see them getting stuck into the activity in a more convenient setting and some people commented that they really enjoyed using tools again, after a working life in a trade such as electrician.

Three young people from the local Gateway school were also helping to build the bench and they worked very hard, alongside one of the residents of the home, making a great job of the finished bench.

Everyone seemed very happy with how things went and I hope that the bench will be in the garden for a long time to come!

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