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Magic Me charity linking older and younger generations is nominated for Liberty Human Rights award

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:10 18 October 2017

Magic Me's 'Stepney Stories' project where care home residents reminisce with John Scurr Primary schoolchildren. Picture: Roxene Anderson

Magic Me's 'Stepney Stories' project where care home residents reminisce with John Scurr Primary schoolchildren. Picture: Roxene Anderson

Roxene Anderson

An education charity bringing east London schoolchildren together with pensioners on inter-generation projects has been nominated for a Liberty Human Rights award.

Magic Me's 'Decorum' project on women in the 21st century, bringing pupils from Mulberry Secondary together with pensioners. Picture: Roxene AndersonMagic Me's 'Decorum' project on women in the 21st century, bringing pupils from Mulberry Secondary together with pensioners. Picture: Roxene Anderson

The ‘Magic Me’ charity in Bethnal Green which has been running two projects in Tower Hamlets schools this year alone has been put forward for the ‘arts’ category, which is being announced at the Royal Court theatre next Tuesday.

The charity brought pupils from John Scurr Primary together with residents at Stepney’s Hawthorn Green care home earlier this year to work on a Stepney Stories project.

Its current project brings together girls from Mulberry Secondary with older women to explore what “good behaviour” means in the 21st century.

The organisation years was also commissioned last year by Public Health Tower Hamlets to help a project tackling isolation and loneliness in the East End.

Age “should be no barrier to creative participation” while recognising older people as an asset, not a burden on society, the charity believes.

“Older people are seen too often as ‘a problem to be solved’ and get excluded from mainstream activities,” Magic Me’s director Susan Langford says.

“Everyone has much to contribute to the community, however old or young.

“We all have a right to the enjoyment and sense of achievement of the arts, including older people in care homes and those living with dementia.”

Magic Me uses the arts to bring generations together to spark ideas and build closer communities, including projects by musicians, dancers, artists and drama specialists.

Its ‘cocktails in care homes’ project combats isolation and loneliness. Volunteers such as young professionals visit care homes to create “a night out” and bring something of the outside world to residents’ lives.

The charity’s work addresses the need to treat older people as humans with rights which also lets care staff see them in a different light, as more rounded people.

Schoolchildren and teenagers also benefit by learning new social skills, the charity points out. Many young people involved with the charity come from disadvantaged homes. The projects offer them a chance to work with experienced artists.

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