Schools project launched in Wales

Schools from across Wales are invited to take part in an intergenerational project supported by the Big Lottery Fund Wales, it was announced today.


At the launch (May 12) at the National Museum in Cardiff as part of Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn Festival, older people joined together with children from Lakeside Primary School to sing a special ‘World War One medley of songs.' The medley has been specially arranged by respected male voice choir leader Alwyn Humphreys who is an enthusiastic supporter of the Goldies Cymru charity.

Goldies Cymru was launched in Wales two years ago. It is part of the Golden-Oldies charity which has Sir Cliff Richard as patron. Goldies founder is Bath-based musician and choir leader Grenville Jones, who attended the launch in Wales.

“After these sessions, we are both all fizzy! I have to go to hospital tomorrow and I am here today to set me up to cope with it!”

That is what Pat from Caerphilly said about her monthly Goldies Cymru group.

Goldies Cymru founder Grenville Jones said;

“Goldies Cymru is NOT a choir but we do use the popular memory-evoking sing along songs of the 50s onwards to bring together hundreds of people who do not have many reasons to get out and be with others. By the end of this year we will have over 100 of our daytime singing and activity sessions across South Wales and Southern England.

“I started the charity with just four sessions in 2008 and we are very proud of the way Goldies has grown in a very short time.

“We now have over 25 dedicated session leaders and we recently announced here in Wales, a £149,000 Big Lottery grant under the People and Places programme, over the next three years. This enables us to grow and add many more sessions.”

The Goldies intergenerational schools project is part of that Lottery supported development and follows a project called Jubilee Time after Time in 2012. Hundreds of schools then took part and the project came second in the prestigious National Lottery Awards Educational category.

Goldies Cymru and Age Cymru joined for the launch under the Gwanwyn Festival banner. Gwanwyn is a month-long festival held across Wales each year celebrating creativity in old age.

Emma Robinson is Gwanwyn Festival coordinator. She said;

“We are delighted to work in partnership with the growing Goldies Cymru charity. I have been to a session and seen for myself how their work is brightening lives and promoting health and wellbeing.

“I’m really pleased to have them perform as part of the whole festival programme, which sees over 9,000 people attend over 400 events across Wales throughout the month of May.”

At the launch today Schools across Wales were encouraged to put on commemorative days, and open their doors to their local elderly people and to sing along to the tunes that bought communities together during the First World War at home and in the trenches.

The project illustrates that singing brought the nation together 100 years ago and can still be used for that purpose today.

A new website was also launched on May 12th it has details of the Time after Time project and how to obtain the World War One medley which is also arranged for community choirs in three part harmony.

Rob Parsons is a widely respected head teacher and Trustee of the Goldies Charity. He added:

“It is very important for children today to have a greater understanding of 1914 and the First World War. Children are naturally inquisitive; always exploring, asking questions and making connections to gain a greater understanding of their lives and the world around them.

“War is a difficult concept to understand for old and young alike but one thing is clear - it significantly impacts upon our lives, our families, communities and the subsequent future world in which we are to live. The First World War had just that significant impact on so many.

“It’s important to record, for future generations, the photos, the songs and memories that link us with a past that must not be forgotten.”

Emlyn Schiavone is the Goldies Cymru Time after Time programme leader and the person to contact for all Schools across Wales.

A Welsh speaker, Emlyn lives in Carmarthen, South West Wales and has worked for the past 37 years in the education sector with Carmarthenshire Education Authority as head of care, teacher in charge and manager of services to children. 

He is currently President of Carmarthen Rotary Club and has a long standing interest in the welfare of young people and older persons. He can help you with your intergenerational school project and he would be delighted to hear from you. His contact details are:-

Email:  Telephone: 07779420626