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Generations Together

On this page:

  • What is intergenerational work?
  • The benefits of intergenerational work
  • What is Generations Together?
  • Intergenerational projects in Ireland - mapping report update
  • How can Age Action help with intergenerational projects?
  • Challenging ageism and preventing elder abuse workshops
  • Videos
  • Contact the Generations Together team

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 where families are becoming more geographically dispersed. As a result of this, there is an increased focus on involving more people of mixed ages in local community action and increasing awareness of the benefits of age friendly communities.

A common definition of intergenerational work by the Beth Johnson Foundation (April 2001) is:

Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the young and old have to offer each other and those around them.

The benefits of intergenerational work

Some of the benefits of intergenerational work include:

  • Creation of age friendly communities.
  • All generations have a lot to both teach and learn from each other and contribute to lifelong learning.
  • Tackles issues around stereotyping and ageism.
  • Increases understanding and respect between older people and younger people.
  • Chance to make new friends and combats social isolation.
  • It's lots of fun!

What is Generations Together?

The Generations Together programme which was launched in April 2011, focuses on establishing new intergenerational projects and supporting existing projects. The programme supports practice that creates opportunities for older and younger people to meet and learn from each other and to bridge the divide between generations. It promotes inclusion and builds on the positive resources that different generations have to offer to each other and those around them. We work with youth groups and older groups in communities, schools and cross border projects. Our programme aims are:

  • To raise awareness and promote intergenerational work in Ireland
  • To provide guidance, advice & support on intergenerational activities
  • To provide training workshops
  • To organise intergenerational events
  • To take a collaborative approach to intergenerational work

Intergenerational Projects in Ireland – Mapping Report Update 2015

Intergenerational Programmes in Ireland - Mapping Report 2012

We need your help! We are currently updating our intergenerational report from 2012, which mapped out 28 intergenerational projects across Ireland. We know that there are a lot more intergenerational projects happening in communities nationwide and we want to hear about them! This is a great opportunity for your project to be recognised and archived in a report that will be made widely available to lots of different stakeholders as well as online. It is also hoped that the information gathered will feed into policy, practice and research and put the importance of intergenerational initiatives on the map!

Not sure if your project is intergenerational?

If it involved younger and older people coming together for a one off event or a longer project whereby they worked together and learned and shared from each other’s experiences and maybe had some fun in the process, then we want to hear from you! The project might still be on-going or it may have already finished – either way we would love to hear about it! (If you have a project in the pipeline that hasn’t started yet, please let us know too!)

Please fill in your project details in the online form available here or by spreading the word to your contacts.

Please note - hard copies of the form are also available if you need one. Get in touch with Keelin McCarthy via the phone number or email below.

Thank you!

Note: Download the "Intergenerational Programmes in Ireland 2012 report" below.

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
  • Provide intergenerational training workshops
  • Work in partnership with groups and organisations nationwide including Northern Ireland
  • Develop and provide Intergenerational Resources, such as: The National Youth Council of Ireland, in collaboration with Age Action, Linking Generations Northern Ireland and Cathrina Murphy, launched a new chapter in their online Diversity Toolkit (Access all Areas) which provides guidance on carrying out Intergenerational work. While the chapter is aimed at those working in the youth sector, the information can be applied to all sectors in helping to promote intergenerational interaction and practice in your community. The Working across the Generations toolkit is available by clicking here.

Challenge Ageism and Prevent Elder Abuse Workshops

Age Action has engaged in collaborative intergenerational work to help challenge ageism and prevent elder abuse, through a series of workshops and a report developed in conjuction with Cosc.

Contact the Generations Together team

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 to hear more about the programme and our ongoing work, please sign up to our newsletter by contacting us at the email address below.

Billy O'Keeffe
Programme Manager - Lifelong Learning
Age Action Ireland
10a Grattan Crescent
Dublin 8

Tel. 01-4756989
Fax. 01-4756011

Age Action Awarded Investing In Volunteers National Quality Standard

Age Action is delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Investing in Volunteers quality standard. Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the national quality standard for good practice in volunteer management in Ireland.

The Investing in Volunteers standard assesses the organisation’s volunteering programme in six areas: vision for volunteering, planning for volunteers, volunteer inclusion, recruiting and welcoming volunteers, supporting volunteers, and valuing and developing volunteers. As part of the process, we completed a self-assessment of our volunteering programme, and with the assistance of an Investing in Volunteers mentor, we then put together an improvement plan. Over the course of the assessment forty of our volunteers were interviewed as well as staff and board members.

Every year, hundreds of people volunteer with Age Action in our Getting Started digital literacy programme, and with our Care and Repair DIY Service. We would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who bring their time, energy and skills to Age Action and are the reason that our volunteering programme is so impactful. Volunteers are at the heart of our programmes and services at Age Action and without our volunteers we couldn’t fulfil our mission to support older people to live full and independent lives. Achieving the Investing in Volunteers quality standard shows our commitment to providing an experience that reflects how much we value our volunteers.

Here’s what some of our Volunteers said as part of the process:

‘I’ve gained a lot of skills from volunteering.  It has built my confidence in teamworking and communication.’

‘It keeps me active being able to help people and improve their quality of life’. 

‘I think they’ve got it just right with the amount of information to keep you in touch.  The monthly newsletter let’s you see what’s going on”.

“Emails keep you informed.  They are very willing to take suggestions on board, they encourage you to give them feedback’.

Going through the Investing in Volunteers process has helped us to review and improve our volunteering programme in its entirety, from how we recruit, train and support volunteers, to how we communicate with and involve our volunteers at all levels of the organisation. As we celebrate achieving the standard, we reiterate our commitment to providing the best possible volunteering experience for our volunteers who make an incredible difference in the lives of those older people we serve.