Promoting and supporting voluntary activity across South Northamptonshire


School of Life activities

A selection of our past activities in School of Life

Stanwick Lakes Intergenerational Activity Day

School of Life with the support of the staff at Stanwick Lakes hosted their third consecutive intergenerational activity day on 27th June 2018.

Both younger and older people from Rushden, Wellingborough, Northampton, Towcester came together to participate in this annual event which has become very popular.

A range of activities were provided which included a team treasure hunt around the lake itself, intergenerational quiz and team games which also included building a shelter.

A great day was had by all those involved on the day.

There were lots of comments from participants…

 “It was lovely to spend time with younger people they were patient”

 “Older people can be friendly and fun “

 “It’s been great working with the School of Life project over the past three years.  At Stanwick Lakes  we had never been involved in this type of intergenerational activity before”

Children’s Art display at Costa Coffee

School of life, Grand Union Housing and Towcester C of E Primary School have recently completed a small  partnership project.

Over 40 children took part in an art competition with the theme of “My Community”.

Fifteen pictures were chosen and, with the kind support of management and staff, they are now displayed at Costa Coffee in Towcester for the wider community to see.

A final 3 pictures were chosen by Costa Coffee staff and all the children were invited to visit Costa Coffee to see their pictures displayed.

Well done everyone involved.


Tea Party at Leeson Court with Towcester C of E Primary School

Last week 23 residents from Leeson Court played host to 25 children from Towcester C of E Primary School. The afternoon tea party was specially organised to introduce for the first time the younger and older people who for the past  5 months have been writing to each other as part of the School of Life intergenerational Pen Pal Pledge initiative.

Everyone involved enjoyed their time spent together as you can see from the pictures. We all hope that activities like this one will become a regular feature in the future developing friendships and future opportunities for all ages.

After-school club with Nicholas Hawksmoor School and Ridgeway House

Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School children and residents from Towcester Ridgeway House supported by School of Life have successfully completed five fortnightly after school club sessions during the winter months.

Each session was planned in advance by the children with the support of their teacher. Activities ranged from making valentine cards, playing bingo, decorating biscuits and painting stones.

12 children and 12 residents took part in the activities, School of Life presented everyone involved with a certificate for their participation.

Cascade of Poppies for Remembrance Garden

The snvb School of Life project is working with Towcester Evening WI, the Royal British Legion (Towcester Branch) and St Lawrence Church to plan a Cascade of Poppies at the Remembrance Garden to mark the end of the WW1 Commemorations in November.

Sue Hamilton (Towcester Evening WI) said…

“Our aim is to get as many community groups as we can to be involved in making poppies in various mediums to attach to a roll of material obtained from the Poppy Factory. 

“The WI craft group has already started on this project and we have approached local schools and other local youth groups to come on-board but we would like to involve as many diverse groups as we can from our community.
“Whatever age you are, we are sure that you will have something to offer this project.  Whether you are an individual or are involved in a local community group we would love to hear from you should you like to know more about this project.”

All poppies need to be submitted to Sue Hamilton, 5 Wordsworth Close, Towcester NN12 6JU by 30 September.  If they are knitted, crocheted or sewn poppies etc, it would be very useful to leave a strand of wool/thread at the end to assist us in attaching them to the cascade please.

The Cascade will be erected in the week 20-26 October and the Remembrance Garden Opening Ceremony is on Saturday 27 October which the whole community are invited to.  We are hoping that many more people will come and view the cascade on Remembrance Day – Sunday 11 November too.

For more information, contact
Sue Hamilton, Towcester Evening WI
01327 350822

School of Life enters 2018 with a Bang

Starting in January, children from 5 primary schools will be sending their first postcards to residents living in independent/care accommodation. They will be sending and receiving postcards between each other 3 times from January-June 2018.

Those organisations that have adopted the School of Life Intergenerational Postcard Pledge have already been paired with their respective partner. It is envisaged that relationships will be fostered and grow between all those involved during 2018.

School of Life will be offering support and is hoping to work with those involved in the pledge to create additional activities and intergenerational opportunities in 2018.

Thank you to the following for their commitment and participation in the School of Life pledge 2018.

Primary schools – Stoke Bruerne, Nicholas Hawksmoor (Towcester), Towcester C of E, Bracken Leas (Brackley) and Roade

Care homes – Ridgeway House & Leeson Court (Towcester), Raynsford House (Milton Malsor), Candleford Court (Brackley) and Cripps House (Roade)

Representatives collecting their School of Life Pledge framed certificates from Karen are…

Liz Thomas , Towcester C of E Primary School, Chloe Bush, Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School and Neil Gilbey, Roade Primary school.

Young people learning to knit

In January 2018 a group of students from Sponne School, Towcester were involved in a project organised in partnership with Karen Bricknell from School of Life; ladies from Towcester Knit & Natter group; Anne-Louise James and Marie Burnett from Sponne School.

The School of Life is an intergenerational programme, bringing together older and younger people. This project involved students spending time with older local residents who belong to a local knitting group.

Knitting kits were provided and the ladies showed the students how to knit.  The project ran over 4 weeks and the sessions were practical with lots of interaction, giving the ladies a great opportunity to share their skills in a relaxed environment.

It was fantastic to see the students, many that couldn’t knit, begin to learn the skill and progress. The project created a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get involved and exchange their knitting skills. It also proved popular with members of staff and we welcomed everyone into the group. The group grew in size every week and it was great to see some of the younger students gain confidence and begin to show some members of staff how to knit.

It was also good to see a year 10 student supporting the group as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.

  • Prior to the start we had
    • 2 students that could knit
    • 4 who could knit a little bit
    • 5 who couldn’t knit
  • At the end we had
    • 9 students could knit
    • 2 could knit a little bit
    • so everyone could knit
  • The 1:1 support and encouragement was invaluable.
  • All the students enjoyed the sessions and liked to have the adult helpers.
  • All the students would like school staff to consider a longer term knitting group.

Overall a great project with lots of positive interaction. This was a pilot session and the students really enjoyed the sessions. The school is now in the process of organising a regular knitting club and introducing some crochet skills!

Thank you to Sponne School for being one of our intergenerational partners in 2017/18

Social Media and Us

On 10th July 2017 the School of Life project was involved in a project organised in partnership with Sponne School and Youth Worker, Laura Patterson.

The project involved a group of Year 7 students spending time with older local residents who had brought in their laptops, tablets and phones. The students showed them how to use their technology more effectively and learn new technological skills.


It was a proactive morning with lots of interaction, giving the students a great opportunity to share some of their skills, such as moving and creating folders, installing apps and organising photos into albums. The feedback from the visitors was extremely positive and they all felt they had benefitted from attending.  They were very impressed by the politeness and helpfulness they received from the students.

The project created a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to exchange skills relating to the latest technology.

Mini Mayors in Brackley

The School of Life project, in partnership with Bracken Leas School in Brackley, the Town Hall project and the Town Mayor (Cllr Fiona Baker), has concluded a project called Mini Mayors.

As the Brackley Town Hall closed, there were lots to move out and put into storage. One thing that they didn’t want hidden was the Mayor’s Chair. This is a large elaborate throne donated to the Town by the Mayor in 1898. Consequently the chair is ‘on tour’ accompanied by The Mayor!

During School of Life activity, the Mayor spoke to the children about what it’s like to be a mayor, what happens when you are elected and a bit about the history of the Town Hall and the council.  She also asked the children what they would do if they were Mayor for the day. Suggestions included opening a Bowling Alley and a Hotel, building enough houses for all the homeless people and making sure there is enough food for everyone.




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