Hello everyone. It's Vienne! I hope your exams went well. While I don’t have exams, I’m happy to tell you that I reached a milestone by finishing my taught phase and will soon start my research stage. To celebrate this, I would love to write a blog post as a VIP contribution to pick up where I have left off. I’m also excited to be in Bath for another public engagement event.

To start with, if you don’t mind, let’s rewind the clock to January 2024 or even slightly earlier. We had been looking for some partnerships since semester one, but we didn’t get there as we lost quite a few teammates. Fortunately, in semester two, Emily from the VIP operation team introduced us to a community partner at the Bath Medical Museum (BMM). At the BMM, they have members who come together and meet on a regular basis. The BMM also collaborates with local hospitals where they have been in touch with older adults. Paul and his team, including Cheryl, Irene, and Ella, from the BMM have been very supportive. They are open to ideas and welcome any form of collaboration. After writing back and forth for a bit, we came up with a tentative plan for an intergenerational activity session (Ah, we’re thinking one or two sessions). We decided to go for an indoor gardening session partly because I had experienced the well-being activities first-hand at the University of Bath and found them very engaging and soothing, and partly because the topic was selected based on the previous survey results, where older adult respondents expressed their interest in gardening and their willingness to work with younger adults.

Once we agreed on the plan, I started reaching out to relevant parties to seek assistance. For example, I invited Emma Carlisle, the Wellbeing Horticultural Manager at the University, to host the gardening sessions for us. I also checked with Steph from the VIP operation team to explore the funding opportunity. Last but not least, we had several team communication to discuss the dates and time for the events and our respective roles. It was at this point that I invited Jiachen to be part of the team. We had both been Mandarin Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Leaders and worked together closely in semester one. She is hardworking, positive, and reliable! How reliable? She saved my life by lending me her laptop for my presentation at the Healthy Later Living (HLL) Network meeting. Remember her?

In March, Steph informed us that our proposal for the VIP fund was approved. We were very pleased to be awarded £500 for our initiative! Without the support of the VIP fund, the two intergenerational activity sessions would not have been possible. We quickly spread the great news to our partner, the gardening lecturer, as well as Fiona and finalised the details of the sessions. To add to that, I was truly happy to have the opportunity to practise my grant writing skills! While VIPs are non-credit bearing and additional projects for students to take on, I do believe the knowledge, skills, and experience developed along this journey will surely come into handy.

Our first intergenerational activity session was held on 11 April. I would like to thank Steph for ordering tea and biscuits on our behalf; and Rachel for picking up the refreshments from the VIP office and designing a post-event evaluation form. As I was back to Hong Kong due to work commitments, I could not physically facilitate the session. But I did find a way to contribute! I made a video recording about the history of the Age-friendly VIP and introduced our progress to the partner and the participants. I thought it would be a good idea to talk about what we, the Age-friendly VIP team, would like to achieve in this research project. For example, we seek to actively create valuable opportunities to bring together younger and older adults, as both groups appear to be largely segregated with their own commitments and social circles. These constructed opportunities can provide a choice for older adults to stay active, expand their social networks by interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds, and create an essential space that invites both groups to work together.

I selected one of my favourite pictures as my virtual background as I presented our work to the partner and participants.

Jiachen also recorded her part for elaborating the specific goals of the session.

The session went very well, and we received many positive comments from the participants, the speaker, and the external partner at the BMM. Paul wrote me an email saying, “Yesterday’s session was brilliant - the UoB students were really encouraging, engaging and friendly. It all went very, very well. The workshop leader was VERY good, and we all had great fun. One member of the group who has major problems at home at the moment was particularly appreciative. She said how the whole afternoon had taken her worries away for the duration. She really appreciated the VIP treatment!”

Below are some selected pictures of the day. More pictures can be found at the BMM website: https://bathmedicalmuseum.org/wellbeing/.








As soon as I received Paul’s email, I told him that we were truly honoured to be able to have them as our community partner and make some impact on real people’s lives! This is what impact means to me! Fiona endorsed our work by saying, “… it is really lovely to see this come off, and well done for all the work in getting to this point!”

Good things come in twos – our second intergenerational activity session is coming back in summer! Registration is open now. Please come along!

Date: 17 June 2024 (Monday)
Time: 2 – 4pm
Venue: The Hetling Pump Room, Bath Medical Museum
To register, please go to

Jiachen and I can't wait to see you there! 

Posted in: Department for Health, Extra-curricular activities, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, International students, Learning & Teaching at Bath, Postgraduate, Vertically Integrated Projects

Sign up for the next intergenerational activity session taking place 17 June 2024


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response