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Peculiar things have been happening at the
There have been reports of young servicemen and women in vintage
uniforms dancing to Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller. People have also
found themselves transported to a time when spam was in a can not
on your computer, Brylcreem was the norm and everyone was doing the
It wasn’t just strange sights and sounds from the past that
would manifest themselves here – you were just as likely to see the
over-50’s pick up a mic and start to rap.
It might sound like the start of the latest Dr Who - but it was
actually Groundwork London’s ‘Back to the Future’ project.
Young people aged 14-16 and people aged over 50 spent time
together, learned about each other and challenged prejudices.
Over the course of the programme, participants shared
experiences from their lives and took part in a range of
activities. This included learning about 40’s, 50’s and 60’s
fashion, trying out old dance styles and cookery skills, reviewing
old movies, interviewing each other on camera, story telling and
dressing up in vintage clothing. Young people also had the
opportunity to share the things that they
enjoy, with performances of rap and modern dance.
It provided a fantastic opportunity for residents - who would
otherwise have little or no contact - to get to know each other,
build trust and increase understanding.
Participants, young and old, found it to be a positive
Joan Elizabeth, a member of Hilldrop Community Centre said:
“My perception of young people has changed because people have
the impression that they are all rowdy and only think of
themselves. My experience has shown that the young people from The
Zone are very polite and friendly. They were interested and
included me in everything. They helped each other and helped me as
Dene Dasousa, a young person from the Zone agreed: “We never
talked to older people that much before. It was very interesting.
We did loads of good stuff with them.“
The ‘Back to the Future’ project was run by Groundwork London
and the Zone Youth Club and funded by the Positive Activities
Service at Islington Council.
Over-50s from St Mungos and Hilldrop Community Centre took part
in the activities.