Andrew Mitchell MP supports generational skills swap at Sutton’s Abbeyfield House

3rd June 2011

MP for Sutton Coldfield, Andrew Mitchell, has lent his support to Sutton’s Abbeyfield House by taking part in a generational skills swap in Parliament on the eve of Abbeyfield Week 2011.

Andrew Mitchell was joined by the actor and Abbeyfield Patron Geoffrey Palmer in Parliament to raise awareness of this innovative scheme, which will bring together older and younger people from across Sutton Coldfield to encourage them to swap invaluable skills.

The event was spearheaded by Abbeyfield, a not-for-profit organisation which has over 700 houses and 80 care homes across the UK, including Abbeyfield House on Anchorage Road in Sutton Coldfield.

This year’s Abbeyfield Week theme is AGEnda and will see Sutton’s Abbeyfield House hold an Intergenerational Skills Swap Day with a Strawberry Tea on Sunday 19 June. During the day young people from Sutton Coldfield College will visit Abbeyfield House to swap skills with residents – which could include anything from surfing the internet to knitting!

Similar events will be hosted at Abbeyfield residences across the country to encourage and improve greater understanding between generations.

In advance of Abbeyfield Week many of their houses and homes across the country have been contacting existing local contacts in schools and colleges as well as building new relationships with young people in their communities.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “I am pleased to be able to support this innovative scheme to help raise awareness of the importance of skills swaps. Schemes such as this not only help older people get more involved in the local community, but also teach younger generations skills that they might otherwise have missed. I am looking forward to hopefully visiting Abbeyfield House later this year to meet with residents and talk about their skills swap day.”

Paul Allen, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield said, “We are delighted that Andrew Mitchell MP is supporting this year’s Abbeyfield Week. We would like to see more of these generational skills swaps in areas across the country to enable better understanding between different generations.”

The parliamentary event was held ahead of Abbeyfield Week, which will take place between 10 and 19 June.

Photo: Standing (L-R) Abbeyfield Chief Executive Paul Allen, Andrew Mitchell MP, Abbeyfield Patron Geoffrey Palmer and sitting (L-R) Hayley Bull and Brian Deex.