A £12,000 project which involved older people in Cardiff has been launched.
The CAER Heritage Project, named ‘Dusty’s WW1’ aims to involve older people with younger generations and also educate school children on the history and development of Ely and Caerau during World War One.
It was launched with an exhibition of old maps of Ely and Caerau at Yr Hen Lyfrgell.
Over thirty elderly people went to the unveiling of the exhibition and to meet the school children who helped create the artwork.
Over the past few months, elderly people from Ely and Caerau told their stories about the post World War One era to year 8 students from Michaelston Community College. With help from CAER Heritage, Action in Caerau and Ely and local artists they were able create replica postcards with messages to families.
73 year old Douglas Knight used to live in Ely and believes that projects like these help older people leave their homes and socialise. However, he says “there are some people who are isolated and they need a contact on the outside to encourage them to go to these various groups.”
The exhibition is a step forward in light of a recent report by Age UK, which claimed that nearly 1 million people over the age of 60 say that they are lonely. The report says that over the Christmas period, it’s a lot harder for older people to cope.
One of the organisers of the project, Dr Stephanie Ward says “They build really good relationships here and in my time working with the group, I’ve seen people who felt isolated and lonely find and make new friends at a point in their lives when they thought they wouldn’t.”
Dr Ward says the project is working with Cardiff University to plan more events for the future.
The exhibition will remain at Yr Hen Lyfrgell until February where it will move to the Glamorgan archives before taking permanent place at the Dusty Forge in Ely.