Who We Are
BAB is a partnership of individuals and organisations working together to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people in Bristol.
About the project:
The Blaise Weston Social Club’s intergenerational art group, Paint Pals, has been partly funded through BAB’s Kickstart Fund, which offers goods or services to the value of £2,000 to tackle social isolation in Bristol.
The Blaise Weston Social Group has been running for eight years and is run by the residents of Blaise Weston Court. Members run the committee and vote on what activities they’d like to arrange. In the past, residents have enjoyed intergenerational events such as memory box work and breakfast clubs. They decided that an intergenerational art group should be their next activity as art is something that everyone can enjoy and get involved in.
Blaise Weston Social Club applied to the Kickstart fund for a grant to cover the costs of paying for a local artist to run the sessions and for the materials used. In October 2017 the Paint Pals project took off with local school, Torwood House School, attending regular sessions run by a local artist, Deborah Feiler. The head teacher of the school, Dionne Seagrove, has since become heavily involved in the project, enthused by the positive impact the art group had on her pupils, so much so that she has agreed to support the group the following year ensuring the sustainability of the project. She said, "The buzz on the minibus back to school is amazing - the children compare stories of what the older people’s jobs were or what treats they had at Christmas or what toys they enjoyed playing with. Parents have even commented on how engaged the children have been and so keen to share their experience at home. The children have demonstrated an increase in empathy and respect of the older generation and certainly recognise the challenges that some face with getting older – limited mobility, loneliness and hearing and sight problems. A knock on effect of this is that our older children are showing greater empathy and patience with the younger children in school."
Pupil, Eleanor wrote in a letter to the club, “I like meeting new paint pals and I enjoy painting and drawing with everyone. I also enjoy listening to the paint pals stories.”
Another pupil from the school wrote, “I think the Paint Pals are great because they are funny and helped me improve my art and sketching.”
An older resident said, "I love being invoved in the group, especially with the children."
Paint Pals ran an exhibition of the work that the group had created together at the end of the school year. Parents purchased some of the art work on display with all of the money raised from the event going back into supporting the project. One parent said, "My daughter enoys her art sessions at Blaise Weston Court and often comes home to retell all of the interesting stories she has been told by her fellow paint pals!"
If you have been inspired by the Paint Pals project you can get in touch with Bianca Rossetti to find out more about the BAB Kickstart Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing the BAB team on 0117 928 1539.
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