Caritas Plymouth was delighted to welcome pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary School, Buckfast to the Diocesan offices at St Boniface House on 18 October to present them with a ‘Caritas in Action’ award for their fantastic work with Willow House Care Home as part of our intergenerational linking project. The Headteacher of St Mary’s, Miss Slack, and three pupils, came to talk about their work to the Caritas Manager, Deborah Fisher, Jeremy Skelton from the Diocesan Education Service and Canon John Deeny, Chair of Caritas Plymouth.

Art and gardening were the two things that the children and care home residents wanted to focus on. A recent project enabled them to join forces on a collaborative arts activity, resulting in some beautiful, framed paintings on the theme of ‘Season of Creation.’ A local artist facilitated the work, in which the children painted vibrant pictures and the care home residents decorated the frames. Both the children and care home workers reported how much everyone enjoyed the process. They benefited from the opportunity to connect across generations and create art together.

The children were enthusiastic and would  ‘recommend this project to other schools.’ Miss Slack said that the project was ‘really valuable as it gave children insight into other settings and has inspired children to connect with other care homes and older people. The project has also helped to shape the future aspirations of some children.  One pupil has continued to visit residents of a care home in their own time and other children have discussed a possible career in the care sector and medicine.’

Canon John Deeny congratulated the children on being such a wonderful example of faith in action. He also shared a prayer (below) and blessed the artwork and all those involved in the project.

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Lord God,
We ask your blessing upon this work of art, and on all who have been involved in its creation.
May all who see it be reminded of the beauty of your creation, of the beauty of encounter between children and our elders.
May we all be inspired to care for our common home, and to care for one another.
We ask this blessing: the Father, + the Son and the Holy Spirit.


We are grateful for a grant from the inter-generational linking initiative, which is run by partner organisations My Home Life England and The Linking Network, and is jointly funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust and the #iwill Fund, from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & SportFor more information about Care Home Friends and Neighbours: Intergenerational Linking, please visit the website and follow the project on Twitter 

Big Lottery Community Fund