Silver Stories brings together different generations for a fun story session to alleviate loneliness
“We are David Carney-Haworth OBE and Elisabeth Carney-Haworth OBE. We have been married for a very long time and are madly in love with each other. (David) I have served 30 years in the police force, and (Lis) I have now retired after 41 years in education.”
(David) “One of the defining moments for me in my life was when I joined the police force. Since a very young age, I knew what profession I wanted to go into. I got rejected the first time, but I was not ready to accept that. I worked hard and went to the Police Headquarters in person several times. My persistence led me to an interview that I passed and joined the force. I was extremely happy that I was in a position to serve and take care of my country and people.”
(Lis) “For me, I would say my life today is because of one defining the person and that is my father. He died when I was only 21, but for 21 years I only saw him as a kind, fun, and wonderful human being. He was someone who truly cared for others. He always worked to make life simpler and better for people around him. I miss him terribly, and I feel a part of him in me has made me who I am today.”
“We started Silver Stories over 4 years ago. One day we took our dog out for a walk, and David came up with a random thought that, “wouldn’t it be amazing if the kids at school could read to elderly people in the care homes?” We really held this thought and started working towards it. As a police officer, he has come across so many elderly people who live alone at home or care homes. I wanted to experiment with this in my school. So, during the lunch break at school, I got Year 2 students to read stories from their books to the elderly over the phone. We were anticipating a positive outcome from this experiment, but we got such an overwhelming response. It is magical when you put younger and older generations for an activity together. Based on the response, we started working to roll this model to other schools.
During COVID-19 lockdown, we knew we had to increase our operations as young kids and elderly are in unfavorable circumstances. We connected over 60 silver readers with silver listeners. There are a lot of benefits for children when they read out loud – it helps improve their confidence, fluency, and interest in reading. I joined one of the calls where the silver reader was reading out a funny story, and I was so happy to hear the giggles from both sides on the call. It seemed that both of them were having so much fun together. It’s a small effort that we do but that gives so much happiness to someone. That is what keeps us going.”
Patisserie Valerie has come up with a special thank you cake, and it will donate 10% of sales of this cake to Silver Stories.
You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to David and Elisabeth (Silver Stories) for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.
If you know someone who is going above and beyond for others, please share the story https://www.youhumanity.com/share-your-story