Steph Stanhope is the founder of Creating Caring Connections CIC. Despite not having ridden a bike for 15 years, she is three miles short of cycling 100 miles this month, in preparation for riding her first century in October – to raise funds for her Intergenerational Connections Project
As founder of Creating Caring Connections CIC, my aim is to support people to feel more connected to themselves, their loved ones and their communities. Feeling more connected to ourselves and the world around us increases our wellbeing and helps to reduce feelings of loneliness. Connections are integral to our wellbeing throughout our lives, meaning that loneliness is an issue that spreads across generations. It’s an issue that can be addressed through generations coming together.
The Intergenerational Connections Project brings together younger and older generations to show that we all have something to give, that we can all make a difference – that age is just a number. Its aim is to introduce and support the integration of intergenerational practice within community-based organisations to support the development of deeper community connections.
Last year I worked with a primary school and a care home to create beach themed items that were used to create a display in the local Tourist Information Beach Hut. Most recently I’ve been working with a primary school in Felixstowe to continue their connections with a local care home. Children visited the care home each week to take part in a series of activities together. The children said that being part of the Intergenerational Connections Project makes them ‘feel kind because we are helping them (the residents) feel happy’. The residents have said how much they looked forward to the children’s visits each week, ‘they make me smile’.
I’m raising money to help fund the Intergenerational Connections Project so that I can continue to support generations and communities to come together and create meaningful and sustainable connections.
After not riding a bicycle for over 15 years, I’m getting back in the saddle. My goal is to ride my first century (100 miles) in October. This has been described as a cyclist’s equivalent of running a marathon. I chose cycling because as I’ve discovered over the years, I am not a runner. Cycling also posed a challenge, not just to be able to cover the distance but also in terms of my confidence. My confidence on the bike is growing with each ride, my longest so far has been 23.5 miles.
I’m planning to map out a route around Suffolk, if you’re part of a community organisation, an early years provision, primary school or care home and would like me to try and incorporate you on the route, please get in touch.
Studio Flex Boutique Fitness are supporting the challenge by donating some free Flex Ride classes to help with my training. I need your support too, please tell your friends and family about the challenge, donate via the Just Giving page or set yourself a challenge and raise money for the project to help create more caring connections within our communities.