Old hands, young minds

16th January 2004 at 00:00
An intergenerational plot has been hatched in two education action zones to get the healthy eating message across to pupils in 14 primary schools.

Children in two neighbouring authorities are being given lessons by a group of elderly gardeners who have volunteered to show them how to grow fruit and vegetables.

The volunteers, recruited by Age Concern, are working to construct allotment areas in each of the 14 schools in South Tyneside and Gateshead to promote the "5-a-day" message.

The volunteers, mostly aged 50 plus, have been given training by nutritionists and by teachers in how to tell children why they should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

"The schools involved are situated in very urban areas and few of the children will have had the opportunity to work in a garden," said Roselle Oberholzer, who co-ordinates the project. It is called Digging Deep to Deliver Five-a-day.

"The volunteers will be able to show them how to grow things in the hope that it will increase their awareness and change their perceptions about these foods."

As well as teaching youngsters about food, the project also aims to bridge the generation gap. Jeff Usher, the Ageing Well co-ordinator for Age Concern in Gateshead, said it is part of a wider "trans-age" programme designed to bring old and young together.

"Older people have life experiences, interests, passions and hobbies which they can share with children," he said. "As well as helping the children learn, it helps them to remain physically and mentally active ."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today