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LAET Got Inspired

LAET students are bridging the gap between generations, one music event at a time!

The LAET Got Inspired event came together at the end of the Spring term via ‘The Charity Den’, an initiative by Kick Charity. The Charity Den encourages young people to take an active role within their community and aspire to lead change. They offer students the chance to pitch project proposals in a Dragon's Den style, for which they receive funding of up to £1000 to fulfil their plans if approved.

Pictured left to right, Alishia, Huseyin and Akua spent months conceptualising and organising the event for the elderly community within Haringey.

Huseyin Vural, Akua Nkansah and Alishia Hossunnally (Year 13) started working on this event last year, pitching their project to the charity at the end of the Autumn term, which resulted in them securing funding for it.

Huseyin and Alishia hosted the event flawlessly, keeping the guests entertained and engaged from start to finish.

As part of the ongoing work with the charity Generation Exchange, we invited 30 local elders, alongside guests from Lorenco House Care Home near the school.

Read about the event in Huseyin, Akua and Alishia’s own words below:

What was the event?

Alishia: We organised a music event for the elderly community in Haringey, and we had LAET students from Year 12 and Year 13 perform a variety of musical pieces. We tried to ensure there was a range of talents on display, so we had piano excerpts, singing and rapping. We also had food and drink and a bingo game in the middle of what turned out to be a very nice community event.

How did you come up with this idea and what were your main aims?

Huseyin: During one of my care home volunteering experiences, I shadowed a care home activities manager and once a week they held music events with residents who had dementia. What I thought was nice was that despite dementia being a syndrome which affects memories, the residents still manage to remember the songs in these sessions. This was probably in part due to the regularity of these sessions, and because they were happily dancing or singing along.

Akua: On a more musical note, as someone who’s grown up with a lot of church, gospel, and classical music, I think a common misconception amongst the younger generation is that we have different music tastes to the older generation. But in reality, we have more similarities than differences. So it was really important for us to try and close that information gap through a really fun event.

What challenges did you encounter whilst planning the Charity Den pitch and event? 

Alishia: So the event was a long time in the making, and we had many variations whilst planning which we scaled up and down several times. We had to draft a proposal, create a budget, project timeline, and risk plans. I think one of the biggest challenges was making it appropriate for the timescale, funding, and equipment we had available. Another challenge was keeping everything in line with our A-levels and ensuring the event planning process wasn’t too overwhelming while making sure the event was still of high quality.

The student musicians performed a range of songs from Bruno Mars and Stormzy to Tchaikovsky.

Akua: On that note, I think communication was one of the biggest challenges between us because of the difference in our timetables. However, we managed to find free time whenever we could to create the actual pitch and devise the logistics for the event.

When it all came together, how did you feel during and after the event?

Huseyin: The event was a lot better than we expected, especially considering we had great alternate ideas and had to scale it down. We thought it wasn’t going to be as nice as it turned out to be.

Alishia: It was also really nice to see everyone enjoying the event regardless of how big or small it was, and to hear the elderly guests' reviews of how they were inspired by some of the performances within the event. It was also really nice to be able to give something back to the community!

What do you think people of all ages can do to bridge the gaps between generations?

Alishia: I think the first thing to do is to initiate and maintain conversations between the generations because assumptions are the biggest issue that leads to the creation of those gaps. Also, trying not to hold negative preconceived notions before having those conversations is important. Whilst researching for our pitch and the event, we noticed that age-related stereotypes are mainly built around the lack of communication between generations.

Akua: I think a lot of people are under the misconception that just the younger generation should help the older generation. But if anything, it could be more of a reciprocal exchange because there's a large amount that we can learn from them and that they can also learn from us. This exchange is particularly important in the society we live in now compared to the society the older generations were raised in. So, I think it's important for us to navigate through current and unforeseen societal changes together rather than separately.

Following the success of the event and the connections formed thanks to it, LAET hopes to maintain the relationships built through this event and have our local elderly community return for more events of this nature within the school.