Supporting the older generation

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


This intergenerational programme would aim to address the social isolation of older people by creating connections with children and young people through two schools in their two relevant communities during the school year. The two schools would be either primary or secondary and one would link with older people based in the community e.g. a local older people's group and the second with an older peoples care setting e.g. a care home or day centre. From experience LGNI know that schools have enthusiasm to create these linkages and it is therefore the perfect opportunity to initiate the involvement of older people in the school calendar. By working in partnership and utilizing the existing structures and resources of the school and LGNI staff the project can act as a mechanism for engaging older people and supporting them to become more connected with their family, friends and local community and by working collaboratively with local services can support isolated older people to become more connected.

LGNI will be taking the community development approach to this project and engaging local people including staff, pupils, older people and volunteers in the generation of ideas and solutions to addressing social isolation. The two projects which will run over the school year will involve at least nine joint activity sessions per school with the agenda of activities being suggested and planned by the younger and older participants in planning sessions hosted by LGNI e.g.physical activity, arts & crafts, celebrating key dates etc. LGNI will then put the programme of activities together linking in local services where possible and coordinating the overall delivery.

Below is a draft plan of what each project could look like in each school however it is vital that the ownership of the activities is given to the participants so that they can be actively involved the whole way through.

Draft project activities

Stage 1 ; Forming of a planning group – to include representatives from the School, Community group, care setting, LGNI, older people’s group and possibly statutory workers and parents. This groups role will be to support the project activities and to act as a local referral for those who may be experiencing social isolation.

Stage 2 : Single age session with pupils from each school to discuss age (stereotyping, perceptions, contact) raise awareness older people issues e.g. isolation, dementia etc and to introduce the concept of intergenerational work.

Stage 3 : Single age session with older people to discuss age (stereotyping, perceptions, contact), discuss issues that older people may have with young people and to introduce the concept of intergenerational work.

Stage 4 : Joint age session/s with both age groups and possibly the inclusion of community volunteers and parents. This session/s will focus on getting to know one another, recapping the single age sessions and generating ideas for intergenerational activities which align with the interests of the participants and the need in the community.

Stage 5 : LGNI will work with the planning group to develop the ideas of the participants aiming to incorporate them into intergenerational activities that connect the school and community for the better of people of all ages e.g. intergenerational sports day, gardening, IT classes, healthy eating etc It is anticipated that LGNI will provide support at 9 sessions during this stage.

Stage 6 : Celebration event in the school promoted to all of the community, showcasing the success of project. Plans for sustaining good practice into the future.

The funding would be used for the delivery of this project including facilitation costs (LGNI staff and any activity tutors), materials needed (for activities/sessions, stationary etc), refreshments, mileage/travel.

LGNI would be keen to work with at least 30 older people and 30 younger people including family and wider community when possible.

The Beth Johnson Foundation - Linking Generations Northern Ireland (Managed by BJF)

Location: Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

LGNI are passionate about intergenerational work particularly in schools. This project idea is based on LGNI's successful An Age-Friendly School. If funded it will not only bring generations together but also blur the lines between communities and schools creating sustainable links for the future.
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