Grandbuddies is one part of the East Church’s evolving Children and Families School's programme involving Hill of Banchory and Banchory Primary schools. The idea is to give the children an opportunity of interacting with the community outwith the school environment. In particular it provides a connect with an older generation that many of the children either do not have or only to a very limited extent.
It was set up by Sarah and Alan after a very enjoyable visit with a class from an Aberdeen school to a local church where something similar was happening. After discussion with Banchory primary school and Hill of Banchory school heads and deputes, she adapted what she had seen to fit the facilities at Banchory East church. Unfortunately, Sarah fell ill just as the scheme was to start, but it is testament to her marvellous planning, that George Montgomery was able to step in as Grandmaster of the Grandbuddies and the programme could proceed.
So far there have been three well received sessions in February and March with one school attending twice. The church provides help with walking the children from school to the hall when required. Thank you, David Laing for your help in this. Sadly, after three, the need for social distance meant we had to stop meeting regularly.
Getting to know each other was an ongoing process throughout all the sessions - all of us exchanged information on every manner of subject including favourite meal, work ambition, colour, book, hobby, pet and so much more. Who knew so many in one class could be supporters of the same football club? It was a heart-warming indication of the connect between the age groups that quite a few of the children who had attended a previous session recognised and joined up again with their original Grandbuddies.
Activities included the children taking along their favourite books and reading passages with several reading to the whole assembly. Origami was another prominent part of a session with many of the children 'instructing' the adults on how to complete the various items. To another session John Wills brought details of the new Banchory Coat of Arms and gave an interesting talk pointing out the many similarities with the children’s school badges.
Our Grandbuddies have very much settled in to the scheme as reflected in comments such as ' I wasn't sure what might be involved but now that I have it has been thoroughly enjoyed'. The children and the staff too have been appreciative and we all look forward to recommencing the sessions in the future where we plan to produce a collage in two parts, part to hang on the church hall wall and part to be displayed in the school.
Banchory East Church
A journal of the life of the East Church through the personal memories and opinions of our members.
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