Ages come together at special meeting

AGE and experience came together at a recent event at Hathaway Academy in Grays when young people who support the Contact the Elderly charity organised a memorable event.

Lillie Murrell, a member of The Hathaway Academy Student Leadership Team suggested that the charity invite some of its members to The academy in order to share life experiences and stories.

Lillie has been volunteering at tea parties with this group in her spare time and realised the potential of such a meeting to make contacts and friends across all age groups within the local community.

Members Alan and Rita met with a selection of students from years seven to ten to discuss their very different life experiences.

The topics ranged from the impact of two World Wars, to education and career opportunities across the generations.

Charity co-ordinator Loraine Coleman said: “Every student was enthralled.

“They loved hearing the stories and laughing and joking with Alan and Rita. Students were given some valuable advice such as making the most of opportunities in education that earlier generations never had and learning from the past to help make a better future.

“These messages meant a lot to the students, as they were linked to real life experiences. “Rita also explained the importance of family in her life and how she was able to keep in touch through the use of modern technology.

“This led to a discussion on the importance of technology to the younger generation.

“The students were shocked that Alan didn’t have a mobile phone!

“The group also had a lengthy discussion on the changing roles of gender in the modern world.

“Rita quoted from her childhood “Educate a woman and you teach a family”. They discussed if this was still true today.

“Rita and Alan both commented that at first they were unsure of meeting with the “youth of today” but now would love to come back on a regular basis to chat with ‘such wonderful young people’.

“A great time was had by all.”