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BAB is a partnership of individuals and organisations working together to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people in Bristol.
This project was run by All Aboard Watersports
Rocking the Boat was an intergenerational boat building project which was free of charge.
The project brought together small groups, a minimum of 6 and maximum of 8 people, spanning all ages to work closely with highly skilled experts staff to build two new boats from scratch over the course of an eight week course. At the end of the course the groups would launch their vessels in the Bristol harbour To take part, no experience was necessary and participants could choose how hands on they wanted to be, making it accessible to people who wanted to document the construction as well as build.
The weekly sessions were split into two, with half the day spent working on the boat, and the other half doing a maritime activity. The group as a whole collaboratively chooses from a maritime activity ranging from sailing or gig rowing, to kayaking.
For more information on this project please contact All Aboard by email email@example.com or by phone: 0117 929 0801
BAB commissioned several intergenerational pilots in 2016/17 and found a range of key learning about their effect. We particularly saw a positive effect on participants’ social networks and relationships when we created opportunities for older people to undertake activities with younger people in their community. This is supported by NICE (link to NICE website), which identified that intergenerational group activities can prevent a decline in independence and support mental wellbeing.
BAB wanted to commission a project that delivered a range of themed activities that have the underlying aim of reducing isolation and empowering older people through activities with children and young people. The empowerment of older people needed to be at the core of the programme, but it was also important to identify outputs for the young people involved. Some learning suggested that the most effective sessions were connected into the children and young people’s curriculums.
BAB has funded the Rocking the Boat project to run an additional cohort due to its popularity. This is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and will resume when appropriate.
The project showed real benefits for both younger and older participants so it is hoped that in the future the project will be able to continue if a funder comes forward.
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