All of the Community would benefit inter-generationally!
● Continued villager involvement
– volunteers, part-time ‘school-hours’ work, six full-time jobs. When successful, a community meeting should be held in the building to present findings and engage volunteers. Full communication, financial transparency, skill-share – a community-run venture. First play performance on the village stage in the Old Town Hall as our community comes together!
BUT as a priority, because of the flat access, which causes a gap in existing provision to the elderly, disabled and infirm as the existing local social space is on an upper storey, and once reached by very public slow progress by undignified exposed stair lift to crowded audience awaiting use of stairs themselves, what embarrassment ……it has no disabled toilet facilities!!
● The ‘SilverDreams’ aged – BCC states its intention in the July 2010 Local Area Plan for ‘training programmes to help the elderly socialise’…whatever that means! We feel we can throw our hat into the ring and challenge preconceptions and myths about ageing and older people, and recognise and celebrate the many diverse ways that older people are contributing and could contribute to family, community and civic life.
Ivinghoe – a small Chiltern village, 9 miles from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, has some surprising statistics and a population of 980 in the full Parish: of these 170 (17.4%) of our population are Ivinghoe villagers of pensionable age, 35 pensioners living alone, 48.0% of pensioner households; 50 people in Ivinghoe report themselves as having a limiting long-term illness, 6.5% of the population, and are permanently sick or disabled;
DWP health benefit data shows that 20 older people in Ivinghoe receive Attendance allowance (12.9% of all older people). Across Ivinghoe, 25 people receive Disability Living Allowance (2.6% of all people);15 households are overcrowded (3.9%) and 30 households have no car in Ivinghoe.
Social housing levels are higher in Ivinghoe than across Buckinghamshire, with 50 households renting from the Local Authority or registered Social landlords (13.9%). There are 180 economically inactive people in Ivinghoe, yet we have both economic inactivity and long working hours in Ivinghoe for those who do work – 115 (24.7%) are working more than 49 hours per week.
● Bucks County Council are quoted recently, again in the Local Area Plan, as wanting to improve the situation of local youth by encouraging ‘Positive Activities, to gain Resilience and Self-Reliance’.
We are inspired by the ideology that children grow best in an environment that is creative, inspiring and encouraging. Developing children who are driven and inspired to learn by working in small groups of mixed age children, playing, developing and experimenting alongside adults who are passionate and enthusiastic about passing on their life skills. From music and movement and storytelling groups to nature clubs and science explorers, these sessions would suit pre-school children, as well as children who were being home educated or taking part in a flexi-schooling arrangement. Linking with the aims expressed above by Bucks County Council, and what we know of Youth Services’ provision, we are looking to develop services which will provide facilities for young people with a variety of differing means, and for all ages.
Extending our appeal beyond those who already participate in formal / structured activities, and linking with burgeoning provision in the wider environment – e.g. the Pitstone Youth Café, the Children’s Centre at Brookmead School, Ivinghoe, with whom we have had an initial conversation, and as the letter copied in Appendix 10.3 the expressed wish of Ivinghoe ‘Church Family’, that their outreach group, which is mainly youth, will also be embraced by us. Our Group proposes an ‘open most hours’ affordable Café with related ‘drop-in’ activities – some building on Arts and Crafts areas, to promote a sense of well-being. Other activities will include tailored cookery sessions and home-economic skills, eating healthily within one’s means, etc.
However, the main focus for Youth Provision we envisage will be the Theatre Club, which has an already established Youth clientele drawn from Ivinghoe and surrounding villages, and which we envisage linking with the stage facility in Ivinghoe Town Hall for some of its final performances. The evening Theatre Club teaches writing, production, performance, lighting, prop and costume realisation, but we see its influence on the Community Hub as being primarily inter-generational. We will offer activities including Film Making, Costume Design and Making, Scenery and Set Design Production, utilising older generation transference of skills to the younger. This Theatre Club presence will provide access for young people including those as yet not participating elsewhere, and will link with the new Pitstone Youth Café, as our Ivinghoe Group is keen to reach out to all young folk.
● Single Parents …..There are 20 lone parent households with 15.7% of households with dependant children are headed by a lone parent in Ivinghoe, a larger proportion of households than across Buckinghamshire where it is at 13.5%. Single parents we feel will benefit from this initiative through increased access to social interaction with all ages intergenerationally. We feel this change for the better will indicate itself by extent of increased feelings of self confidence and the young person’s ability to cope with their children, brought about by the diffusion of isolated amounts pressure, the sharing for a while of sole responsibility and the skills communicated by the older generation in a social and fun setting.
● In an example of Living History, or the new ‘hot topic University of Local Knowledge’ – Twenty years ago, when the National Curriculum was first sharing inspirational themes, the ‘Victorian/ Waterways’ history theme brought out much local canal family history, culminating in a convergence of local school children by narrow boats on a central canal side village. Dressed as Victorian canal family children, these middle-school pupils, now sporting much recently learned local history, gleaned from suddenly ‘less shy’ relatives that had kept their personal canal working history quiet by some pre-conceived social embarrassment, brought a richer dimension to our local learning as it burgeoned into whole family interest and contribution….both musical (old recordings from butty boat singing relatives with broad Bucks accents), artefact, photographic and anecdotal.
We see this as an opportunity to relate interesting history personally to some home scholars that intend to join us midweek, and learn by interaction with cross- generational discussion and illustration. We also see much greater potential in this to gain living history and arts grant help to further the telling (and singing) of this history before it disappears.