We recently initiated an intergenerational focus to our work through our new Generations Together programme which was launched in April 2011. As well as focusing on establishing new intergenerational projects, we will also be exploring ways of developing the intergenerational aspects of our existing work e.g. U3A, Getting Started, Care & Repair, Global Education.
aLearn Active Ageing - A European Project
Age Action is one of six organisations from across Europe, taking part in aLearn, an exciting new Active Ageing project, funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. Organisations from five countries (Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Germany and Ireland) have joined together to develop an on-line learning community to promote active ageing. The aim is to develop online resources to help both older (60+) and younger (16-35 year olds) learn more about what positive steps can be taken to support active ageing, including the use of social networks to help sustain an active social life as we get older.
Focus groups with a mixed group of participants from both the younger and older target groups were held by each of the 6 partner organisations in early 2013. These focus groups focussed on five key areas; Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Healthy Nutrition along Life, Physical and Cognitive activity, ICT ( Information Communication Technologies) for Social networking and Intergenerational Volunteering.
Learning modules will be developed in each of the key areas, on the basis of what came up in the focus groups, and will be available on the aLearn website www.a-learn.eu in the coming months.
Intergenerational Projects in Ireland: Launch of Mapping Exercise Report - Phase 2
Age Action, The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at the National University of Ireland Galway, and the Beth Johnson Foundation in the United Kingdom are delighted to launch Phase 2 of the Intergenerational Projects Mapping Exercise. Since 2011, we have combined our efforts to undertake an exercise that not only gathers necessary information about intergenerational activities in Ireland, but also helped to identify examples of best practice in relation to intergenerational programmes. This Report captures that information and provides key next steps in going forward with Intergenerational Work and Initiatives. To read the Report, please click on the image to the left.
What is Intergenerational Work?
Intergenerational work is by no means a new concept; it has been around for decades however it has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is also now progressively more important in modern society with advances in technology and travel and also increases in crime levels and social problems whereby families are becoming more dispersed and the divide between generations is increasing. As a result of this, there is an increased focus on involving more people in local community action and increasing the awareness of the benefits of age friendly communities. Strong positive relationships and collaboration between generations is central to achieving this goal. Some of the benefits of Intergenerational work include:
- Creation of age friendly communities.
- Reduce the divide between generations.
- All generations have a lot to both teach and learn from each other – contributes to lifelong learning.
- Tackles hostility and stereotyping (e.g. “trouble making hoodies”; “fuddy duddys”) between generations.
- Creates better understanding between older people and younger people.
- It helps us to learn about and socialise with people whom we may not have met or wouldn’t meet otherwise.
- Chance to make new friends and combats social isolation.
- It’s lots of fun!
What is Generations Together?
The Generations Together programme is an exciting new initiative to support practice that creates opportunities for older and younger people to meet and learn from each other and to bridge the divide between generations. The programme will promote inclusion and build on the positive resources that different generations have to offer to each other and those around them. The idea is that there is a mutual benefit to all those involved. It is important that we recognise the important role and resources that both older people and younger people have to offer and the knock-on positive effects that this can have on communities and their local environment. We are looking at working with Transition Year students, Primary Schools, youth groups and older groups in the community to name just a few.
European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012
The programme was actively involved in meeting the objectives of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012. The European Year highlighted the need to maintain the vitality of older people, enhance their involvement in society and remove barriers between generations. Age Action collaborated with The National Youth Council of Ireland in running a dedicated project as a means of highlighting existing intergenerational solidarity projects and supporting others to carry out exemplary Solidarity between Generations projects. Throughout the year, we provided 3 training workshops in Dublin, Galway and Cork, a support and mentoring service to 13 new intergenerational projects, and a showcase event to promote their acheivements on completion of the project. (A short film of the showcase event can be viewed here). We will endeavour to continue providing these services going forward.
How can Age Action help with Intergenerational Projects?
- Raise awareness of the importance of intergenerational work
- Organise intergenerational events / projects
- Provide advice, guidance & support to groups wanting to get involved
- Intergenerational Training Workshops
- Work in partnership with groups and organisations nationwide including Northern Ireland
Click here to read the Generations Together Newsletter.
We welcome any suggestions and ideas for the Programme so please get in touch if you would like to discuss an idea or if you would like some support for your project. If you would like more information about the Generations Together programme please contact:
Age Action Ireland
30/31 Lower Camden Street