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News 09 March 2017 l Community

Bridging the gap – apprenticeships flourish with an exciting intergenerational project

An exciting intergenerational project, known as The Talent Match Academy, is bringing younger and older people together – thanks to a highly successful partnership between Hanover and Groundwork Greater Nottingham.

The Academy is a community hub, based at Hanover Court in Bilborough, Nottingham. It takes on apprentices who support wellbeing activities for older people, whilst they gain professional qualifications towards their future careers.

The scheme was launched in 2015 after Groundwork identified a local needs gap. The area has a high number of older people, but also has young people who are not in education, employment or training. The project was seen as a way to bring the two together to benefit both.

The estate’s first three apprentices were unemployed for more than a year before they started at the Academy. They helped to set up and run low-intensity exercise classes and a lunch club, provided home deliveries, craft sessions and an IT drop-in class. The activities benefited Hanover residents as well as older people living in the wider community.

The apprentices also supported Hanover-led activities at Christmas, for the Queen’s Birthday celebrations and on Older People’s day.

The scheme has been a great success for everyone involved. Two of the apprentices went on to gain Level 2 NVQs in Business Administration, while the third took a Level 2 NVQ in Catering.

Delighted resident Daphne Williams said: 'It’s a great way of sharing information between the two generations and we learn from each other. I feel my confidence has grown.

'Since joining the IT sessions, I have managed to trace my ancestors. This has given me a keen interest in genealogy. My estate manager is also tracing her family tree and we share tips and information we find about each other’s families.'

Estate Manager Helen Brown said: 'We’re really pleased with the way the Academy has developed. It’s been a great example of how you can reduce isolation for older people living in the local community, while enhancing the skills of younger people and helping them to get their first foot on the career ladder. We wish our great apprentices every success for the future.'