Kissing it Better

Spreading intergenerational joy!

March 2024

Children from Camp Hill Primary in Nuneaton get excited about our Great Granny workshop.

KiB CEO Jill Fraser says: ‘The more that can be done to encourage young and old to share stories, the greater the chances of both age groups feeling more valued, better connected, kinder and more informed citizens in the future.’

Once children have taken part in the  workshops, they are supported to visit local care homes. Here, Kathleen, 96, is trying on her new Easter Bonnet, made by children from Gledhow Primary School in Leeds, who visit regularly to share stories, music and arts and crafts sessions.

‘Our oldest relatives and family friends are a fantastic source of wonderful stories about life in the past,’ says Jill Fraser. ‘Add to that their own special memories of key national and international moments and the wisdom they gained through living through those times, they not only have the ability to inform and entertain a much younger generation, they can also gain much satisfaction from sharing their often rich and sometimes unique sources of knowledge before they are lost forever.

‘With funding from local councils and other funders, membership of KiB clubs is free to schools and includes the workshop and access to online activity packs to help children engage with their own older relatives and, whenever possible, their local care home/day centre. We also offer packages to a range of out-of-school clubs.’

Contact Jill on 07831 136152 to get involved.

KiB Volunteering Programme

November 2022

We offer a rich range of ways to volunteer:
-Supervised zooms into care homes, hospitals or the homes of people living on their own
-Training in a variety of different activities that you can use towards your volunteering hours
-Masterclasses, with guest speakers, for those interest in a career in healthcare and other careers linked to communication
-Direct connections to care homes, where you can make and create items that will be sent to the residents
…and so much more!

All our virtual volunteering sessions are designed to broaden your understanding of the many challenges of old age. We hope this will help you support and connect with older people in your community. And we know it will benefit you, especially if you’re keen to pursue a career in healthcare.

SIGN UP TO JOIN OUR PROGRAMME HERE: https://kissingitbetter.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=74c9d199e9b5f95cf6c6032fa&id=cff411ce4c

Once you sign up, you will be added to our mailing list and sent an email with what to expect next. Later that week, you will then be sent our weekly newsletter, with all the latest details and sessions we are running.  If you are not receiving our newsletter with the weekly timetable (many email systems reject all or part of them), please contact [email protected], and she will send it to you separately.

ASSESSORS: We ask your assessors within school to sign off on your volunteering experience. However, if this is not possible, contact [email protected].

ACTIVITY LOGS: You can find our activity log here: Kissing-it-Better-Volunteering-Activity-Log  If you are interested in medicine, we also recommend you use this log to take note of the medical related skills you have gained from this experience. Here’s the link: Evidence-of-Medical-related-Skills-Gained-Through-Volunteering-1-2

PHONE GUIDELINES: For guidelines for phoning an older person, click: Guidelines for phoning an older person revised 10th Feb 2022

OTHER FAQs: If you have any questions about the Kissing it Better Programme, please check our FAQs Volunteering from Home or get in touch with [email protected]

Party like it’s 1959!

September 2022

In Warwickshire, local students recreated classic garden parties from the 1950s, with old fashioned games like cat’s cradle, quoits and hula hoop, followed by traditional afternoon tea with jam sandwiches and Victoria sponge. “Our student volunteers really impressed the residents with their prowess at the old fashioned games,” says KiB’s Caty Oates. “The fetes brought back lots of happy memories, and created many new ones.” Pictures show students and residents at Leycester House; we also organised fetes at Park View in Warwick and Priors House in Leamington.

 

KiB Comedy Drama on Zoom

August 2022

Our latest drama production, A Cut Above the Rest by Claire Demmer, was funded by the University of York. Four drama students helped our players tackle a tricky knockabout farce about a diamond heist. The university is now running a research study into the benefits of Zoom drama for older people.

Unlike regular drama groups, ours is completely inclusive: we never come off script, so you don’t need to learn lines; and it’s all done sitting-down, which is great for older people with mobility challenges. Most of all, it’s a lot of fun.

You can watch a clip here

Or if you’d like to see the whole play, click here

Our next Zoom production will also be sponsored by the University of York. It’s a 40s film-noir-style production called Who Killed Santa. If you know an older person who might like to get involved, please contact [email protected].

 

 

The Kissing it Better Volunteer Programme

February 2022

We offer a rich range of ways to volunteer:
-Supervised zooms into care homes, hospitals or the homes of people living on their own
-Training in a variety of different activities that you can use towards your volunteering hours
-Masterclasses, with guest speakers, for those interest in a career in healthcare and other careers linked to communication
-Direct connections to care homes, where you can make and create items that will be sent to the residents
…and so much more!

All our virtual volunteering sessions are designed to broaden your understanding of the many challenges of old age. We hope this will help you support and connect with older people in your community. And we know it will benefit you, especially if you’re keen to pursue a career in healthcare.

SIGN UP TO JOIN OUR PROGRAMME HERE: https://kissingitbetter.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=74c9d199e9b5f95cf6c6032fa&id=cff411ce4c

Once you sign up, you will be added to our mailing list and sent an email with what to expect next. Later that week, you will then be sent our weekly newsletter, with all the latest details and sessions we are running.  If you are not receiving our newsletter with the weekly timetable (many email systems reject all or part of them), please contact [email protected], and she will send it to you separately.

ASSESSORS: We ask your assessors within school to sign off on your volunteering experience. However, if this is not possible, contact [email protected].

ACTIVITY LOGS: You can find our activity log here: Kissing-it-Better-Volunteering-Activity-Log  If you are interested in medicine, we also recommend you use this log to take note of the medical related skills you have gained from this experience. Here’s the link: Evidence-of-Medical-related-Skills-Gained-Through-Volunteering-1-2

PHONE GUIDELINES: For guidelines for phoning an older person, click: Guidelines for phoning an older person revised 10th Feb 2022

OTHER FAQs: If you have any questions about the Kissing it Better Programme, please check our FAQs Volunteering from Home or get in touch with [email protected]

 

A Very Arty New Year!

January 2022

Before Christmas, we launched a children’s art project to help Warwick Hospital patients feel connected to the outside world during their stay. As the pictures were set to decorate Castle Ward, the challenge was to create a piece of artwork on the theme of ‘castles’.

“There’s growing evidence that having access to inspirational art can support the mental and physical wellbeing of older patients,” says Caty Oates, KiB Project Director in Warwickshire. “And it’s lovely for patients to know that children in their community are thinking about them and want to do something to help.”

Hundreds of children entered. When Warwick Castle heard about the idea, they stepped in and offered free tickets to the winners. One lucky winner’s picture will be turned into a notelet to be sold at the castle; all proceeds to go to KiB.

 

Left: a  Knight at Warwick castle is holding artwork by Matilda Long, North Leamington School

 

 

 

Below: Puroshini Pather and Carla Lea with pictures from Oscar and Maisie Hotten from Aylesford School

 

Happy Old Year – Highlights of 2021

January 2022

In January, Judi Dench sent us a video to share with you all, featuring her pet parrot Sweetie (that’s Dame Judi Dench – we were so excited!).

Dame Judi was inspired to share the clip by a BBC News story about our intergenerational zoom sessions, where children showed off their pets…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2021, we gave more than 3,000 young people the chance to volunteer virtually and make a difference to isolated older people who live alone, or in care. June, one of the older people we work with, told us what these Zoom connections have meant to her since she moved to her new care home…

 

We asked our young volunteers how they had benefited, and a whopping 91% said that Kissing it Better Zooms had positively changed their attitudes towards older people; 86% of volunteers surveyed said KiB Zooms had a positive impact on their mood and sense of self-value, and helped them to feel like part of a community.

We also connected with students in education: we taught our KiB Enrichment and Volunteering Programme in schools across the country during term time, and we even ran our first KiB Virtual Summer School. Here’s what Elena said about her experience…

So here’s to 2022. Let’s make it a fantastic one!

 

 

What we did during lockdown

August 2021

During the pandemic, we had to find new ways of bringing the generations together safely. So we created a unique mix of virtual and real-life projects to bring compassion and companionship to isolated older people – and give students the chance to make a real difference. Here’s a short film about how we did it…

Unique KiB project blends real-life entertainment with Zoom workshops

May 2021

The Lottery-funded project is a unique mix of interactive Zoom drama workshops and music sessions that older people can enjoy in their own homes – plus real-life socially distanced outdoor performances. All our session are led by brilliant young local musicians, dramatists and singers.

One of the highlights of the scheme is the Huddersfield Hopefuls Digital Drama Group: We’re working on a comedy script called The Retirement of the Witches of Ipswich, about some very naughty witches. It’s like Harry Potter, but in a care home.

We also offer weekly Pop Choirs – we learn a new vintage pop song every week, then belt it out together. Zoom lag means we have to mute our mics, so this choir is great for people who can’t sing! You can watch a clip of one of our pop choirs here:  Zoom also makes us look out of sync (honest…)

As well as combating social isolation and loneliness, our  creative project is helping older people in Yorkshire to:

For more information, contact Susan Walls [email protected]

Poetry to Light Up Lockdown

March 2021

Working with Leycester House Care Home in Warwick, we launched a poetry competition called ‘What Happiness Means to Me’ and asked local students to get creative. The response was amazing. More than 70 young people ( aged six to 18) sent in their entries to be judged by members of Leycester House Poetry Club. These poetry-loving seniors are not easily impressed, but even they were stirred by the quality of writing.

“The residents have been delighted by the amazing response, and touched that so many children took the time to think of brightening the day for them,” says KiB’s Caty Oates. The judges were particularly inspired by the powerful imagery in many of the poems, like this one by Jessica Bryn from Rugby High School, about her grandfather (pictured together below).

You’ve been in my life since the start,

Stepping into shoes not your own,

Being there for me all these years,

Making sure I never walk alone.

Jessica and her grandad

 

We travelled many a place,

Paths, roads and towns galore,

Always treating me to a (shush!) ice cream,

Time with you was never a bore.

 

When our contact was cruelly cut by Covid,

I knew this wasn’t the end,

Built with resilience, you are a fighter,

Just like your granddad and his friends.

 

And although I can’t see your memory wrinkles,

Feel your green fingers on mine,

I look forward to our phone calls,

Fridays, between seven and nine.

 

Because you are my happiness,

Thank you for everything you do,

From bike maintenance to a taxi driver,

I couldn’t imagine life without you.

 

Granddad, for forever and always,

I love you.

The winners will appear at the next poetry club meeting, over zoom, to read their work. Winners in the 7-10 age group: Anderson Pegler and Ella Ward, both from Woodloes Primary School. Winners in the 11- 14 group: Natalie Saternus from Trinity School and Chloe Potts from Princethorpe College. Bridey Bingley from North Leamington School and Jessica Bryn from Rugby High School took the top prizes in the 15-18 category.