Intergenerational G&T – a moving trip down memory lane

A unique week at MakeBelieve Arts

Last week, history came to life at MakeBelieve Arts. Eight Gifted & Talented 10 and 11 year olds, two workshop leaders, and five generous local volunteers came together to weave stories, share memories and bring them to life in an intergenerational half-term holiday workshop.

The 2nd World War invokes images and thoughts of battles, soldiers, nurses and the Blitz, but what of British children during the war? Inspired by the much-loved novel, Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian, the workshop explored the experiences of children evacuated from London during the 2nd World War.

Not only did the young people have the novel for inspiration, they had the time and generosity of five older volunteers who shared their personal experiences of evacuation. Thanks to a partnership with Age Exchange, MakeBelieve Arts was able to deliver this Gifted & Talented holiday workshop as an exciting intergenerational project, culminating in a sharing with friends and family.

The stories that emerged during the week were in equal parts frightening, moving, funny and poignant - from being fired on in a field by a bomber plane, to staging a private rebellion by stealing sausages from the window of a house on the German-occupied island of Jersey.

These snapshots of what it was like to be an evacuee were absolutely fascinating. They gave the children a sense of history brought to life as they imagined what it would feel like if at 10 and 11 years old they, like our volunteers, had experienced war-time evacuation.

MakeBelieve Arts would like to extend a warm thank you to Age Exchange, the volunteers who generously gave of their time and memories, and of course, the young people who worked so creatively and thoughtfully throughout the week to bring these stories to life.