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Annual Winterfest Event Highlights the Value of Intergenerational Collaboration

WinterfestHighlightsIntergenerationalCollaboration

For the past five years, Guildford Recreation Centre has hosted Winterfest, a free annual community event featuring arts and crafts, sports challenges, cooking decorating and the collection of non-perishable food item donations for the Surrey Food Bank.

Drawing families and citizens from across Surrey, the winter celebration brings together community in support of community. However, the community connection and giving back piece isn’t just what happens the day of the event. Behind the scenes, leading up to the big day, groups of preteens, youth and seniors collaborate on planning and executing the event, each taking away something special from the experience.

"Having projects like Winterfest can teach children the importance of giving back and the rewarding feeling that comes with it." - Youth Participant

The Guildford Seniors Advisory Committee operates the volunteer-led seniors lounge and café, youth volunteers transform gym with special activities and games, and preteens from the MYzone after school program set up craft stations and the bake sale which generates funds for a shelter in Surrey.

In speaking with the multi-age volunteers, it’s clear the benefits of intergenerational programs go both ways. MYzone preteens said making the community happy made them feel happy. To some, happiness meant having fun while playing games together. To others, it looked like giving candy and gifts to other people.

Members of the Guildford Seniors Advisory Committee said they love being involved with youth-led events as it brings the generations together so they can share experiences and knowledge and learn from each other.

Youth participants said giving back to the community is important to them because the community has given a lot to them. They also shared that by continuing this exchange of helping and giving, they felt like the community would be strengthened. One youth stated that having projects like Winterfest can teach children the importance of giving back and the rewarding feeling that comes with it.

This year’s Winterfest will take place December 14 from 10am to 1pm at Guildford Recreation Centre. Learn more.

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