bold Generations – A bold Mini Commission with Alec Thompson-Miller

 Blog 3: bold Ripples

 Global Intergenerational Week 2023

This blog celebrates Global Intergenerational Week 2023, and how bold’s (Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia) Online Social Leadership Programme and community had a positive impact on my confidence as a practitioner to deliver face-to-face intergenerational work after the pandemic hit in March 2020.

Before the arrival of COVID and lockdowns, I’d been developing a variety of intergenerational projects around Aberdeen. My original whisper of an idea to leave my full-time job and create a family of projects bringing people of all ages together using different creative mediums was in 2010. This whisper of an idea came to be known as ACE Voices and was officially launched in February 2011. Little did I know how much my confidence was going to be rocked when these initiatives suddenly stopped. I felt almost visceral pain when lockdown forced no face-to-face contact with the communities, we’d been working with without knowing when we’d be able to rebuild these bridges again.

Bold Scotland logo

This is when bold came along! Taking part in their bold Online Social Leadership Programme from April to June 2021, lit many bulbs of hope for me, and I focused on the power of small steps, loving connections between people, and unlocking many creative energies. I began to work out a way forwards and a sense of hope that face-to-face activities would be possible again. The bold programme, the follow-on training, and creative opportunities such as bold Sparks Facilitator training and bold Mini Commissions were vital catalysts for inspiring new action. The loving kindness from the bold community of practitioners built my confidence and rekindled hope for the ACE Voices programme for Global Intergenerational Week 2023. None of this would have been possible without bold!

ACE Voices’ ‘Global Intergenerational Week 2023’ programme:

Monday 24th April – Saw the launch of the 2nd pilot stage of Torry I-GEN at Tullos Primary School in Torry, Aberdeen. In partnership with Torry Development Trust, Old Torry Community Centre, Robert Gordon University, Tullos Primary School, Grace Banks of Silverhaar, and a growing community of partners. Taking our activities outside into the school playground for the first time following our 1st pilot stage from February-March 2023, and 2 years of planning beforehand.

Tuesday 25th April – We hosted a Mix ‘n’ Mingle at Kingswood Day Centre, Mastrick, Aberdeen. Our intergenerational community of Heathryburn School and Kingswood came together and watched the

film of our ‘bold Generations’ project together, celebrating with cake and fruit fizz! Find out more about ‘bold Generations’ on the links below:

Wednesday 26th April – We held a Mix ‘n’ Mingle meal with Lorraine George of Generations Working Together and key members of the Torry I-GEN community at The Station Hotel in Aberdeen. Our way of saying thank-you for delivering a day’s intergenerational course in Aberdeen. We discussed a bespoke intergenerational learning day for our Torry I-GEN community in 2023/2024, exploring how to embed Generations Working Together’s new primary school module into our programme and other exciting ideas.

Thursday 27th April – Heathryburn Primary School and ACE Voices hosted a day’s intergenerational training, open to all and led by Lorraine George. We are really excited about this training, and a couple of P7 pupils will be helping with elements of the day as part of their ongoing leadership mentoring programme. For more info on their journey, see here!

Friday 28th April – Members of our Seaton Sings group at Lord Hay’s Court Sheltered Housing in Aberdeen reconnected. This group ran from 2017-2020 and included 2 years of intergenerational work with Seaton School. This wee informal gathering provides an opportunity to rebuild bridges and start exploring ways of rekindling our singing sessions and more.

Saturday 29th April – Our first planning session for our new ACE Voices Intergenerational Choir, open to people of all ages, which is in partnership with Heathryburn Primary School, Twisting the Rainbow, Amanda Nicleoid, Madison Youth Choirs (USA), and other partners. Our first full session will launch on 13th May, and we will have our first performance alongside Madison Girls Choir from Wisconsin, USA on 18th June at Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen. Part of our performance will involve Luminate Scotland’s Travel These Ways collection! This is pilot project from April to June 2023, and will turn into a much longer-term initiative from August/September onwards with three main strands: Music for everyone/Everyone can sing/Everyone has a voice worth hearing, Leadership Mentoring, and Community and Relationships.

Thank-you very much for taking the time to read these reflections, and if you have any queries about any of the above, please feel free to contact me.

You can read Alec’s 1st bold Generations blog here!

And his 2nd bold Generations blog here!

And the bold Generations Film here!

Until next time!

Alec Thompson-Miller

ACE Voices

07422 575711.