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Creating a gift fit for the Queen

In a bid to join the generations together for a project to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 92nd birthday and 65 years as Head of the Commonwealth next year, CommonAge, the organisation linking the aged care sector across Commonwealth countries, has launched an international writing and storytelling project. 

Young people living in the Commonwealth are encouraged to submit stories about the lives of nonagenarians (Source: CommonAge)
Young people living in the Commonwealth are encouraged to submit stories about the lives of nonagenarians (Source: CommonAge)

Open to anyone living in the Commonwealth, CommonAge’s Nonagenarians Life Story Project involves young people aged between 15 – 24 writing about the lives of nonagenarians for possible inclusion in a book to be given to the Queen on her birthday in April 2018.

“We would like to commemorate this very special occasion with a beautifully presented, unique book of stories and photographs of fellow nonagenarians, written by young people from around the Commonwealth,” says Andrew Larpent OBE, Chairman CommonAge. "It's a great opportunity for a younger person to be a published author too."

The young writer and/or their storyteller can decide on whatever aspect they want to record, whether it is a full overview of the storyteller’s 90 plus years, a focus on a certain era or special event, or relating how the changing world has affected their life. They may decide they want to include aspects specific to their country too, such as food, fashions and culture.

“For example, the Queen’s life was influenced by World War Two and shaped by the early death of her father in 1952 whilst her marriage and children have been a thread of continuity throughout her life,” explains Mr Larpent. 

“Her Majesty has also seen immense technological developments in transport, communications and entertainment which have influenced her everyday life. Her life has been an inspiration and stabilising influence to many, and by her example, she has contributed to and personified the 2017 Commonwealth theme of a ‘Peace Building Commonwealth’.”

Not only will the younger and older person be sharing experiences, but the project will help record stories for generations to come he points out.

“I hope elders and young people in all Commonwealth countries will join together and participate in this exciting project, and help us to produce a wonderful collection of life stories from people in all walks of life. Join us in contributing to this special gift for Her Majesty,” says Mr Larpent.

Awards will be given to the five best essays and these will be announced before the book launch at the inaugural CommonAge Commonwealth Elders’ Forum in the UK in April 2018. This forum is linked to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Visit its website for more details.

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