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School children with older residents at Cheneys Lodge

Posted by: Lizzie Gurr, on 23/03/2015

Older people at Cheneys Lodge share wartime stories with school children

Older people living at Cheneys Lodge in Seaford met with students from Annecy Catholic Primary School to share their stories of World War 2, bringing to life their current school studies.

Resident Rita Bailey, 87, said: “The children are growing up in a different world to me. I was 8 when the war started, we were bombed out and I watched the Battle of Britain from my garden. Food was in short supply and I had shorts made out of black out material. Communication wasn’t the same, we had no IPads or anything, not even a telephone. I was evacuated a couple of times and spent days sitting in air raid shelters which has meant that my biggest regret is a lack of education, but the main focus during the war was to keep safe.

Rita continued: “I shared a ration leaflet with the children which they found interesting to see just how little food we had, and it was a pleasure to meet such bright, articulate and well mannered youngsters.”

Charlotte, a year 6 student, said: "It was fun getting to know the people. You can't always believe what is on the internet, that's why talking to someone was such a great opportunity."

Sussex Housing & Care, who own Cheneys Lodge, have a mission to help people live their later lives to the full and this encounter is part of a wider programme to celebrate the lives of their older residents.

Interim Deputy Head Teacher of Annecy School, Paul Gallagher, said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for us to work closely with Cheneys Lodge. To create an inter-generational project between Annecy Catholic Primary School and Cheneys Lodge where residents and children have mutually beneficial interactions with each other. Being engaged in our local community is something that the school are very passionate about."


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