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Skill Share Saturdays – A New Monthly Event For Balham

Skill Share Saturdays – A New Monthly Event For Balham

The Wiser Collective, the Balham-based free, intergenerational community initiative that matches older people with skills to younger families who need them, is launching Skill Share Saturdays for residents of Balham and the surrounding areas!

The new, monthly, free events provide a unique opportunity for local residents of different generations to meet in an informal way to discuss their hobbies and interests.

Skill Share Saturdays will run monthly from 2-4pm in Balham Library Hall, 16 Ramsden Road, SW12 8QY, initially on Saturday 29th February, 28th March and 25th April, with further dates to be announced.

Sarah Laffey of the Wiser Collective said: “The drop-in sessions are primarily aimed at older individuals who would like an opportunity to contribute their amazing lifelong-learned knowledge in their local community, and families looking to connect with their more senior neighbours to learn new skills. But everyone is welcome - there is no upper or lower age restriction, the only requirement is a desire to meet local people of different generations and share, discuss or learn new skills”.

Clare Redway of the Wiser Collective said: “The Wiser Collective offers a modern way of being part of a good old-fashioned intergenerational community. Everyone wants to feel useful and valued and, at times, we all need help. But in our busy, modern world, traditional neighbourly communities are under pressure. More and more, younger families are living apart from their loved ones and missing day-to-day practical help and support. Meanwhile, older people may be living away from their own families or friends but want to continue to contribute their skills and experience. By bringing young and old together to use and share skills, we hope these new events will help to combat loneliness across the generations.”

Some of the skills and tips on offer will be provided by members of other community groups such as Neighbourhood Network SW12 & SW17 – an active local group of talented, older people who are a rich source of skills and knowledge.

With designated areas for different skills and interests, visitors to the events will be able to easily identify people who offer the skills they are seeking. During their visit, guests will be encouraged to take part in practical demonstrations and chat to others to share knowledge and build local, neighbourly connections for practical help and advice.

Tea, coffee and cakes will be on offer and those wishing to join The Wiser Collective community to find out about their other activities can do so on the day or via their website or via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Working with older people and families with young children, The Wiser Collective makes safeguarding a priority. Anyone who wishes to connect with another participant outside of the monthly events will be encouraged to do so via The Wiser Collective to ensure personal details are not shared between individuals at the events and safeguarding guidelines can be followed.

Skill Share Saturdays continue the exciting work The Wiser Collective has already done to provide a platform for intergenerational community-building in the local area. In the past, The Wiser Collective has helped families in Balham and Tooting to meet older neighbours who can teach skills such as knitting and crochet, give garden advice, discuss local history, do arts and craft activities and share tips for baking good pastry. Older residents have benefited from the opportunity to share their valuable skills whilst meeting with their younger neighbours to enjoy conversation and a cup of tea in a safe environment. The events are supported by the Wandsworth Grant Fund.

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