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Ogmore Vale Primary School’s upcycling project paves the way for the future

An intergenerational sewing project to upcycle old clothes, was designed and carried out by Year 5 and 6 pupils from Ogmore Vale Primary School, following a series of lessons about how the future will be impacted by present day actions.

Nandika, a pupil involved in the initiative, said: “[The lessons] taught us the importance of reusing old clothing, and how much clothing is wasted every year. We decided to do something about it, to spread the message of reusing clothes.”

Enlisting the help of the craft group at Halo’s Ogmore Valley Life Centre to repurpose old clothes, pupils learned an array of skills from the crafting volunteers. They not only learned how to sew, but how to communicate with people of different age groups, as well as develop their organisational skills.

The pupils managed the initiative from start to finish, including the fashion show finale. Exhibiting all their own work, they oversaw every detail – from producing clothing to creating the tickets for the show.

Speaking about the project, local Councillor, Della Hughes, said: “The highlight for me was seeing the pupils learning new skills with the guidance of the local craft group, which enabled them to repurpose the clothes themselves. This is what community is all about.”

Alaya, a pupil involved in the initiative, said: “I learned to sew by working with the Halo Craft group. They were really nice, and it was a fun experience!”

Another learner, Uma, adds: “There was really good communication between everyone – we all worked together to get it done.”

Championing the known benefits of collaboration between generations, the project not only helped to develop the skills and values of the pupils, but also delivered advantages for the craft volunteers too. Doreen, one of the crafters, said: “To be involved in the project has been absolutely wonderful! Seeing the children each week and being able to pass on practical, new skills to them was so rewarding! It made me feel so good!

“I loved watching their faces to see how interested, happy and proud they were to learn sewing skills from us! We couldn’t wait for each Tuesday to see them!”

Absolutely well done to all of those involved in this project.

Not only has the initiative been instrumental in teaching the children about their power in shaping the future, but also about respecting the skills that they can learn from the older generation to help them to do this – encouraging empathy, tolerance, and a sense of community.

Congratulations to all! I am very proud!

Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education