Older people have become pin-ups in a drive to tackle age discrimination.

The Age is Just a Number campaign has teamed up older and younger people in the Caerphilly area to bridge the divide between the age groups, by using positive images.

It has been developed by the 50+ Positive Action Partnership and the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership. Pictures of young and older people who have been mixing in the community form part of a new exhibition on display at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. They have also been used to create a calendar, an advertising campaign and website.

Marion Berring, 74, a retired clerical worker, from Ystrad Mynach, is a member of a weekly lunch club held at Lewis Boys' School in Pengam, where the children help out.

"The boys show us to our tables and carry lunch for us if we've got walking sticks," she said.

"And they come around afterwards, asking if there's anything we want.

"We've been playing scrabble with them, too. It teaches them how to spell.

"It does you good to get out and mix with them. It helps you realise young people are not all bad. You hear about the bad ones, but not the good ones."

Curtis Veall, from Tir-y-Berth, and Jordan Carter-Rogers, from Hengoed, both 13, were two young people involved in the 50+ Lunch Club.

The boys were involved in helping the older people with activities such as dancing and knitting.

Curtis said: "The old people seemed all right. I didn't think anything about older people before.

Now I say hello to them if I see them out and about."

Daniel Hawthorne, 25, and Leslie Jones, 70, were also featured in the exhibition, pictured playing on a Nintendo Wii games console.

Student Daniel, who has special needs, and volunteers for the Community Support team, came up with the idea of taking the console to the Caerphilly Retirement Group to enable the older people to share in activities.

Support worker Adrian Markey said: "Dan spent lots of time on his video games and borrowed a Wii for the older people to try out.

"They found out they liked using it and decided to buy one of their own."

Leslie added: "We love it. We have tournaments against other groups now."

Caerphilly council's Older Person's Champion Colin Hobbs said the campaign helped break stereotypes.

He said: "We are all aware of the bad press about youngsters dressed in their hoodies, loitering on street corners and older people are often labelled as frail and grumpy with little understanding of modern technology.

"We want to break these stereotypes with more positive images."

Deputy social services minister Gwenda Thomas, who was at the launch, said: "These photographs, which bring our generations together, say more in the contents of the pictures than I could try and convey.

"Age discrimination and stereotyping is a stain on our society. Older people are often portrayed in a derogatory way.

"These photographs help us challenge these misguided perceptions.

We do not need to look too far for similar negative comments about our younger people." 

Article from WalesOnline