Pupils who have participated in the Once Upon a Time local history project at Manchester Communication Academy speak with an eloquent enthusiasm about its effect on them.
Riccardo Baio, 14, says: “It develops you as a person, because caring for the elderly and helping is something you need all of your life. It’s something nice to do, and something you will have to do at some point.”
Many students were struck by the contrast between their lives today – full of gadgets and technology – and those of the older generations. “Technology has overcome everything, but then, they didn’t have it, but they were still happy”, says Ellie Howell, 15. “It shows that technology doesn’t have to be in our lives.”
Hasnaa Hayder, 14, says the project taught her to “live life to the fullest”, while Leanne Shakeshaft, 13, urges young people to talk to their older relatives: “Just try to get a good understanding of the past. Don’t keep your head in the future all the time. At least understand the past.”
So how does Ellie feel when she goes home after school? “I feel proud of myself, that I’ve helped older women and men,” she says.