This intergenerational project was a collaboration between People United, Lunsford Primary School, and two care homes in Kent – Lavenders and St Martin Abbeyfields. Our research partner was the School of Psychology at University of Kent.
Multidisciplinary artist, Bob Karper (aka Steampunk Bob) worked with poet John Hegley, choir leader Gitika Partington and artist Shula Hawes to connect the care home residents, pupils and staff through participatory poetry, singing, photography and performance. Together they explored ideas about role models through the question: Who do you treasure and why?
A final celebratory event featured an exhibition of artworks, poetry performances and a film screening, attended by more than 250 people from the school and care home communities. Every pupil in the school earned an Arts Award Discover.
During the project we measured the children’s attitudes towards the elderly, their intentions to be kind to others and their inspirations/role models. Our findings showed that the children became significantly less biased against older people and were more likely to see them as role models.
Working with teachers, we created a practical resource called Hunting for Treasure to support schools intereted in exploring kindness and role models.
Steampunk Bob has changed the way I see old people. Just because they are older you shouldn’t treat them different. Lunsford Primary School Pupil
Treasure was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Artswork.
Building on the research and learning from Treasure, People United worked with Bob Karper to develop Arts & Kindness Weeks in Primary Schools.