Foothold Group, Llanelli


Facilitating a workshop for the Health & Well-being Project run by the Foothold Group in Llanelli. This workshop with retired volunteers looked at stereotypical notions of ageism, particularly why older people generally regard teenagers with suspicion, with the aim of helping to break down some of the barriers between the generations.

With two of the group taking turns to illustrate teenage ‘models’ on the flip chart, the group firstly examined stereotypical models of what was perceived as typical teenagers, for example, the way they look, dress and behave. We then moved on to evaluate teenagers from other perspectives and acknowledged how knowledge of, and familiarity with, the teenager, their family etc, overrode all visual preconceptions.

The workshop proved to be a success and generated a great deal of discussion. However, when later evaluating the feedback forms, it was found that although open to new perceptions, when invited to put forward suggestions on how to alleviate mistrust of teenagers, the remedies put forward by the group relied on containing what they saw as very real threats rather than on getting to know younger people better. This emphasised the widening gap between generations and the very urgent need for more community participation and integration.

© Creative Arts Wales 2011, published with kind permission from participants