A SERIES of podcasts have been created to share stories of isolation, bravery and kindness.

The project, called Together We Are Stronger, is run by Yeovil Art Space and was initiated by artist Natasha Rand.

Ms Rand has been interviewing staff and residents from Somerset Care, and elderly people from Yeovil.

She has talked to them about significant moments in their life including travel, friendships, wartime hardship and mental health, as well as how they have been coping during lockdown.

The project was created to celebrate National Intergenerational Week (March 8 to 14). And so the podcasts have been used to inspire young people through family activity packs and creative workshops for teens.

Yeovil Art Space director, Zoe Li, said it was "wonderful"to hear the stories.

"We're so privileged to hear about these important moments in people's lives," she said.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how the young people and the artists respond to this rich inspiration.

"We hope Together We Are Stronger will create more opportunities for intergenerational projects in Yeovil, as well as supporting community cohesion and helping to build new partnerships."

Residents from Burnworthy House in South Petherton have also been taking part.

Patrick, 92, from Burnworthy, is featured in a booklet and series of online activities for primary schools and families, which have been created in partnership with Somerset Libraries.

"The aim of the project is to guide and inspire young people when learning about resilience," said a spokesperson for Burnworthy House.

"What better place to find perfect examples of this than at Burnworthy House.

"Our residents have faced challenges during their lifetimes which we can only imagine now.

"Sharing their stories in these podcasts has not only sparked a renewed interest in the life stories of our residents, but also created a wider recognition of the value of their voices and experiences in the wider community."

Some of the stories that have been shared during the project include:

  • Della - She talks about her childhood during the Blitz in London when she looked after the children who lost their families following the bombing. She talks about the impact of this trauma and how it led to a career in nursing.
  • Ruth - She trained to be a teacher and went to work in the Australian outback for two years. She talks of the excitement, the lifelong friends she made and how it became an experience she never forgot.
  • Irene - When she was young, Irene didn't want to ask her parents for the money to go to art school and so she got a job at the age of 14. She worked her way up to the design room, eventually dressing film stars and royalty.

The podcasts will be shared with the care homes, along with the creative responses from young people, families, artists and writers.

Twelve artists and writers are also responding to the stories, by creating installations in empty shop windows in Yeovil.

Together We Are Stronger is run by Yeovil Art Space working in partnership with Eastville Porject Space, Somerset Care, Yeovil Library, Quedam Shopping Centre, Love Yeovil, Yeovil College, Buckler's Mead Academy, Kingston Maurward College and local primary and secondary schools.

The podcasts are available on major podcast platforms via Somerset Libraries UK LibraryCast.