Tes Awards 2020: Community and collaboration winner

A project that made community relationships blossom: the Ballinascreen intergenerational project at St Colm’s High School, Draperstown, wins this year’s award
13th November 2020, 8:35pm

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Tes Awards 2020: Community and collaboration winner

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/tes-awards-2020-community-and-collaboration-winner
Community & Collaboration Award Winner 2020

The residents of Ballinascreen Fold, a retirement and care complex in Draperstown, County Londonderry, distinctly remember when the students of St Colm's High School arrived to work on their garden.

One of the residents said: "The meeting of our generations was timely as it came when our community on the Fold was at a low ebb...things seemed to be going downhill for us." 

He recalled that several beloved members of the community had died in the previous 18 months, residents were feeling low on energy and confidence, and on top of that, the garden was in disarray.

He continued: "But then the 'Seventh Cavalry' arrived in the guise of children and our situations were turned around."

Pupils at St Colm's High School and members of the Cornstore Youth Club, Draperstown, had noticed that the Fold's garden was in a poor state, so they organised to team up with the residents to revamp it and developed an eco-friendly garden, complete with birdfeeders and features made from recycled tyres. 

The pupils also participated in social activities at the Fold and invited residents to a bingo and karaoke night in the youth club.

"The bridging of the gap between generations benefited both age groups, developing good community relations stretching far beyond the timescale of the project," the award entry reads.

Lead judge Tim Brighouse said: "I am hugely impressed and reassured that there are so many altruistic staff in schools who continue to walk not just the extra mile but daily marathons almost to unlock the talent of their students."

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