Since November 2015 we have been working with residents of Pilgrim Home Evington on ‘Tactile Textiles’, a project within Leicester Ageing Together, funded by the Big Lottery.
Each week small groups of pupils from Linden Primary School have been visiting a group of residents from Pilgrim Home. The combination of 9 and 90 year olds sharing creative activity has been a wonderful success, providing constant opportunities for young and old to share skills, ideas and experiences. Whilst they were choosing fabrics, threading needles and learning how to finger knit, children have also heard about what daily life was like long before they were born and the older people have learned all about the latest playground crazes. The different ages have happily shared their stories and thoroughly enjoyed each others company – “I didn’t think the elderly liked being around children but as soon as we came here I realised that we have a lot in common – the elderly are very interesting” commented one of the children.
One of many highlights of the project has been celebrating the achievement of making three collaborative textile wall hangings, each depicting a verse from ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’. Over the weeks these were stitched from scratch to designs created by the group, each hanging made up of six background pieces made by a younger person/older person partnership. Everyone had such fun in the making of all the elements for these and now the hangings are proudly displayed in the hallway of Pilgrim Home.