Bridging the gap: Gorton youngsters use Brazilian music for elderly interaction

Pupils at a Gorton secondary school are counting down to this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games by throwing themselves into engaging with the local community.

Students at Wright Robinson College are working hard ahead of launching their Brazilian-themed carnival later this term as part of the Get Set for Community Action programme.

Created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association, and made possible due to the Big Lottery Fund, the UK-wide Get Set for Community Action programme aims to help thousands of 14-19 years old to strengthen relationships between young people and their communities.

Following several events involving primary school children, students have turned their attention to the area’s elderly population, and have come up with many ideas to help their new friends enjoy the carnival, including sit-down dancing. 

Plans for the carnival are full steam ahead with the students jumping at the opportunity to help out in their community, and PE teacher Rachel Fitzgerald is thrilled with her pupils’ dedication and enthusiasm for the project.

“The students came up with the idea of doing the carnival, and although it was originally just to be done through our primary school links, they decided to get the community involved and get local elderly people into the carnival too,” she said.

“We had the primary schools in and taught them a dance, and we talked about the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio before everyone picked a country out of the hat to represent at the carnival.

“We are going into the old people’s homes over the next few weeks and our Action Leads are going to teach them a dance that they can do sitting down.

“The project is really going to strengthen our links with the older community, and the more we interact with them, the less they will think there is a divide between their generation and young people.

“It will empower both our students and the elderly with more confidence, and will help the pupils learn how to interact with adults in their environment, bringing the community together.”

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games now less than four months away, excitement is building at Wright Robinson as they prepare for a sporting summer.

And with ideas aplenty to celebrate the event, it looks set to be a colourful and fun-filled summer term for the students.

“We are a very sporty school and we hold lots of inter-house competitions,” said Rachel. “Each house is going to take one of the countries to represent and support.

“There will also be a lot of decorations around the school so we are really looking forward to it”

Get Set for Community Action is a new UK-wide programme for young people and their communities created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association and made possible thanks to the Big Lottery Fund. To find out more visit:

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