Young and Old Get Together to Build a Bridge

Hurlingham and Chelsea students help elderly people gain access to park

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Olive House Extra Care Estate
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 School children from Hurlingham & Chelsea School are teaming up with their elderly neighbours to help residents of Hanover’s Olive House estate to raise £15,000 to build a bridge from their estate into the park next door.

Olive House is extra care estate is located within Fulham's Imperial Wharf and says Estate Manager Susan Crosby Dyas: " The restaurant looks out onto the Imperial Wharf's lovely park, but there is no direct access into it. So many of our residents, particularly those in wheelchairs, can see the park but can't reach it.

"What we are hoping to build is a small bridge leading into the park, which will make a huge difference to the lives of our residents."

The new initiative started a few weeks ago when land owner St. Georges gave residents permission to build the bridge.

Since then work experience students Porshia John and Georgia Wilder from Hurlingham and Chelsea school have been working with residents to organise a fundraising campaign. Susan was so impressed with the way the girls helped the residents she gave them the task of producing fliers and helping residents canvas local support.

15 year- old Porshia says: " I have always enjoyed spending time with older people and when Susan gave me this opportunity I literally jumped at the chance.

" Although there is still a very long way to go we have got the ball rolling with a sponsored bridge walk."

Hanover resident, 90 year old Mrs Violet Wiltshire says: “Since the girls arrived they have been a real delight.

“This is a wonderful place to live with something new happening every day - some of us play armchair basket ball while others enjoy a spot of gardening on the roof top garden.

"The only thing we are missing is good access to the park so that we can go for afternoon walks in the sensory gardens and along the river Thames."

The Bridge walk is expected to take place within the next couple of months. Walkers will be attempting to conquer five bridges including; Chelsea Bridge, Albert Bridge, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth Bridge and Putney Bridge.

Anyone wishing to take part or support the event should contact Susan Crosby Dyas on 020 7736 4756

July 20, 2012