School pupils from Oulton Broad primary school have begun a series of visits to Broadland Care Home residents as part of a new arts project run by Suffolk Artlink.
Lowestoft Folk sees the school pupils and nearby care home residents meeting regularly over a three month period to take part in creative activities together which explore Lowestoft’s folk heritage.
Before meeting, Oulton Broad primary school children made individual peg dolls as gifts for care home residents and Broadland Care Home residents created a poem based on their experience of tea time as children, alongside artist, Caitlin Howells.
During the visits, residents and children spent time with creative writer, Lynn Whitehead exploring old phrases and sayings, customs and traditions. They also enjoyed a visit from storyteller, Liam Carroll, who wrote and told an original story based around the collections in Lowestoft Museum.
When asked to explain why he wanted to take part, Jenson, an Oulton Primary School pupil, said: “Lowestoft is where I was born, my family and history belongs here. I would love to find out more about my home town.”
Roy, a resident at Broadlands Care Home in Lowestoft loved the first session with the children: “I thought that was lovely, mixing with the children. It brings it all back to you.”
Another resident, Hazel, took part in the session with her adult daughter, who was visiting. At the end of the session the daughter told us, “My mum’s just told me she’s had a lovely afternoon, she really enjoyed it.”
Candida Wingate, Suffolk Artlink Project Officer, explains: “It’s such fun, bringing the children and residents together to work in this creative way. The children have already found out so much from the adults, and so many snippets of family customs and traditions have been shared. Being creative together like this will inspire us all to connect with Lowestoft’s rich cultural heritage and help strengthen relationships in our communities.”
Lowestoft Folk is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Lowestoft Rising and is being delivered in partnership with Lowestoft Museum and the Maritime Museum.
The full two-year long project, will see artists lead school pupils and care home residents in a creative exploration of artefacts and stories found in Lowestoft Museums. Groups of pupils from four Lowestoft schools, including Oulton Broad Primary, Pakefield Primary and Roman Hill Primary will each be paired with a nearby residential care home in the area.
From this summer, Suffolk Artlink will also be holding family storytelling events and workshops for the general public in Lowestoft, as well as running touring exhibitions of the work created by participants.
Lowestoft Folk runs from January 2018 to September 2019, for more information, visit www.suffolkartlink.org.uk.