Feast of Fun is a partnership of local churches, community groups and schools that offer a range of holiday activities, including healthy snacks and lunches.  It is a grass–roots response to offer support for the many families who struggle during the summer holidays.

This summer, Feast of Fun, welcomed a whole new generation of volunteers, older people through Faithfully Ageing Better who shared their time, skills and talents with the children and families to create a "Feast of Fun across the Generations."  The summer holidays can be a time when people of all ages experience loneliness, Feast of Fun created a space for different generations to come together. It has been wonderful to see how much the children and older volunteers have enjoyed spending time together. one volunteer said “I think I’m getting more out of this than the children are!

 

Our FAB older volunteers

Nick, who has recently been bereaved said that volunteering and helping the children had made a huge difference to him: “Being with other people, especially the kids, just takes your mind off everything…In January I barely left the house – if you don’t go out you don’t have to come back to an empty house.  Yesterday I was out from 8am to 6pm and was exhausted (in a good way!)

Dorothy, who normally keeps herself busy finds the activities she is usually involved in stop during the summer, really enjoyed volunteering for Feast of Fun and said, “It’s made this summer a happy one”.

The older volunteers enjoyed being with the children and seeing much they enjoyed the activities, saying ‘it makes me feel young’ and ‘it’s better than medicine.’ Several of the older people said that they wanted to do more volunteering after the holiday clubs ended, seeing that the clubs benefited not only them but the community around them.  


What did the parents and children say?

We received an overwhelmingly positive response with both parents and children enjoying having older volunteers helping at the holiday clubs.  The children valued the experience and skills the older volunteers had with one child saying, ‘if they are older they know more’.  One parent talked about her child having no grandparents and saw having older volunteers as fulfilling some of that role.   This mirrored the sense of belonging described by older volunteers, people talked about feeling ‘part of the family’.

A fun day out!

Each year the project grows and enjoys the support of new partners.  This year we were especially delighted to be working with the North York Moors Centre taking groups of families and older people, (sometimes up to 4 generations), on trips to Danby, to enjoy a range of outdoor activities. The older people enjoyed seeing the children having fun in the great outdoors and some even had a go on the adventure playground themselves!

You can learn more about Feast of Fun across the Generations through watching the film: Feast of Fun Across the Generations Film

You can also read our report here.