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Newport: Chess sessions help stimulate conversations between generations at Independent Arts

Creative Health charity Independent Arts is hoping to bridge the generational divide and help more older people in the community to enjoy a game of chess at their Creative Hub on Saturday lunchtimes. They are trialling the sessions again, following a pilot last year funded play players of the National Lottery.

This year, the sessions have received grant funding from the McCarthy Stone Foundation, who recognised that intergenerational chess was an interesting way to encourage older people post pandemic to feel confident to mix with younger people.

The sessions take place from 12.00 to 1.30 pm from 21/10/2023 to 25/11/2023.

The charity will decide on dates for future sessions in November and they will be advertised on their website and Facebook page. The sessions are free to over 65’s and under 16’s. Under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the sessions. Everyone else is welcome whilst there are spaces, for a suggested donation of £5. Tutors JC & Kathy Grimshaw are on hand to support beginners and to encourage a spirit of shared learning.

Having a focus, such as a game of chess is great as it takes the edge off the need to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, because there is already a common interest. Independent Arts also provides free hot drinks and a sandwich, which means that during the cost of living crisis, the most vulnerable have somewhere warm, safe and companionable to sit and make connections.

The charity also understands that for many parents, the opportunity for children to learn to play chess under supervision and in a non-school environment is really beneficial to improve thinking skills and social skills.

The sessions take place at Independent Arts Creative Hub in Newport, where the charity also features exhibitions created during its other programme activities, open to the public free of charge. On display until Christmas is Art in Care Homes, a poignant exhibition curated by the arts team staff at the charity, selected from the past year of delivering arts workshops to residents of 13 island wide care homes.

For more information about the services Independent Arts provides, visit



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