THE GENERATION gap is being closed in East Durham thanks to a range of activities aimed at improving mutual respect and understanding between younger and older people.

The project has seen elderly people benefit from demonstrations and treatments from Hair and Beauty students in the local collage as well as getting a taste of the efforts of young caterers.

Managed by East Durham Trust, with funding provided by Lloyds TSB foundation, the project will also see older people being shown how to shop online by young people in Shotton and residents of Horden Colliery having property repairs carried out by young apprentices.

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The Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: "The projects aim to bring the young and old together in a way that will break down barriers.

"We are finding that any negative feelings theses age groups have about each other is often based on ignorance. Once you get them together in a positive environment the barriers can disappear."