Friday, 10 February 2012

Serendipity and The Red Blanket

The photo does not do justice to the warm red of this blanket which just invites you to reach out and touch it. The scarlet red is especially welcome now as we come back into the time of light and the landscape is a bit muted in its colours.

This blanket began last year --as so many of Northern Loops projects do--with good intentions, a vague idea, and donated wool.

And also as with many of our projects, it took longer than any of us had expected and after some false starts --"This red is not the same as that red" and long bouts of "moss stitch" is sooo slow" managed to exceed our expectations.

Now best of all, I received a letter that Project Eve, for whom we started this blanket last year is once again declaring March Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so the blanket and the hearts that we have been doing turn out to be right on time after all.

When we get together we can sit down and think about how we want to celebrate with our hearts, but I am confident that serendipity once again will guide us to the right place.
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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Getting Intergenerational

Northern Loops has been committed from its origins in being an all age group. One of the best ways to break down age stereotyping is to work side by side with someone of a different age.
It is not a new idea. In fact, it is a recreation of the way things used to operate a bit more naturally in a new not so easy to roll off the tongue term. "All age" seems a nicer way of saying it, but intergenerational is the word of the day, so we've incorporated it into our name as well as our way of thinking.

It takes more than rolling out the welcome mat to get folks to join in. We were lucky early on to have the help of some very talented young consultants from Space Unlimited. They took a look at our project and suggested ways to encourage young people to take part--
two of their suggestions were to

  • offer rewards for achievement (volunteer hours credited though a volunteer web site)
  • and to encourage developing their own designs.

Now we are going to take part in a program of developing intergenerational networks among organisations up here thanks to a group in Glasgow, Generations Working Together (