Custom Search 1

This game will help you learn about the Windrush Generation

LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING: Storytelling is at the game’s heart

AS WE celebrated the first annual Windrush Day last week (Jun 22) it was an opportunity to reflect on the contribution and legacy of the Windrush Generation.

We now need a national narrative of intergenerational learning and recognition of migration as part of our DNA.

That’s why I developed an exciting storytelling board game, Every Generation Game: Windrush Edition, to help young people, families and communities share their heritage, history, identity and culture through the telling of stories.

THE BEGINNINGS

I have had a long-standing interest in researching my own family history from Wolverhampton, Jamaica and Senegal using historical records and DNA testing. I have also spent much time as a mentor to young people in Brent and Hackney.

I realised that the young people, mainly boys, that I supported were disconnected from learning, their families and the wider the issue of identity and belonging. This encouraged me to share and promote family history and inter- generational dialogue for the African and Caribbean community and in 2002 I established my website Every Generation to help me
spread the message. I then began to run workshops to engage the community around family history and reminiscing.

I worked in partnership with the National Archives, local museums and community organisations in promoting awareness of family history and over the past 17 years I have delivered more than 200 public events, plus various articles and blogs.

In the background I also had a passion for collecting ephemera – especially picture postcards covering different parts of the world from the 1870s to modern times and I’ve built a large personal collection of cards.

DEVELOPING THE GAME

All of these things simmered away until I realised that a board game would be a great way to get young people and families around a table talking to each other and my card collection could provide the visual prompts they need to begin a story.

I didn’t really know how to develop a ‘proper’ board game and spent lots of time tinkering with paper, scissors and glue. I then did some basic prototype work with Universal Board Games in Hackney.

Then, by happy accident, I met Melvin Bell and Andy Yeoman of Focus Games Ltd at an NHS conference and I discovered that they have developed more than 60 educational board games since 2004.

I described my ideas for the game to them and they happily agreed to work with me to develop and commercialise a new version of the game. After two years of redesigning, formulating and testing, Every Generation Game: Windrush Edition was launched in time for the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush.

It is now almost a year since that and while it’s still early days, the feedback we’ve had from celebrities, members of the public, schoolteachers, museums and heritage organisations has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive.

I hope the game will contribute to greater learning and understanding for everyone as a fun and engaging look at our shared family history – past, present and future.

HOW DOES THE GAME WORK

The Windrush Game is a fun and inspiring activity for events celebrating Windrush Day, or a games night at home with family and friends. Picture and timeline cards detailing key moments in recent British history are used to spark storytelling, with players sharing stories of their own experiences, or using their imagination to create exciting stories inspired by the people and events depicted.

Players are encouraged to add their own photos to the game, to spark stories about their own family members, friends and experiences.

WHERE IS THE GAME BEING USED

The game can be used as educational resource for schools, youth clubs and in care homes as an educational resource to inspire creativity, learning and research around the historical facts provided on the timelines.

Photos and timelines can also be used as stimuli for creative writing tasks after playing the game.

But we always intended for the game to be used by lots of different people in a variety of situations and not just for young people or family get-togethers, such as:

• Team-building and social networking: The game enables people who do not know each other well to learn a little more about one another. By listening to the experiences of others, it offers a non-invasive way to talk about your own memories and learn about other people’s.

• Older people in care settings: The photos and structure of the game give an opportunity for older people to reminisce and recall memories. You can introduce personal photos into the game and develop personal timelines as part of a reminiscing experience.

• People with mental health problems or learning disabilities: Social care staff can play this game with service users as a social activity and an opportunity to get to know each other. It could also be played by groups of service users, facilitated by staff.

As we approach the first national Windrush Day, I hope the game will contribute to greater learning and understanding for everyone as a fun and engaging way to share our history.

To learn more about the game, visit windrushgame.co.uk, or follow the game on Twitter @TheWindrushGame.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments