Suffolk at Play

Suffolk at Play was a three year intergenerational reminiscence project aimed at encouraging older adults and young people to share their experiences of childhood play.

The project worked across Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Stradbroke and Stowmarket. 

Five groups met, usually once a week over 13 weeks. Initial meetings involved training young participants in collecting oral histories, followed by intergenerational sessions where they played games and shared memories which formed the basis of writing, artwork and booklets. Final sessions involved young and old participants creating scenery, props and animated films of play and memories.

“It was inspirational, because now I know that you can have a life without technology.” Young participant

208 individuals participated, including 74 adults from an Over 60s Club, church groups, library groups and care home residents, and 85 students.

Participating students were often chosen to take part in order to help build self-confidence and communication skills. Everyone took pride in creating a resource for the community to enjoy and breaking down stereotypes.

An adult participant commented: “I am so pleased I had the privilege of taking part in this project – I have enjoyed working with the students and am surprised at what I have done.”

The ‘Suffolk at Play Cube’ was a display unit designed to contain a screen for displaying the animations, shelves for boxes of toys, also featuring a post-box where people could post their own memories of childhood play/toys, The cube toured Essex museums, libraries and schools and it is now housed at the Museum of East Anglian Life.

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