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
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.
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!
Intergenerational Projects in Ireland – Mapping Report Update 2015
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.
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.
Check out more about the programme and projects in these videos:
The Programme Development Officer speaks about Generations Together.
Age Action received funding from the Department of the Taoiseach under the Communicating Europe Initiative for the European Year of Citizens to carry out a project in 2013. Following active involvement in the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012), Age Action in conjunction with Linking Generations Northern Ireland were keen to look at options for creating a lasting legacy for EY2012 whilst also connecting with the European Year of Citizens and taking an all-Ireland approach. The project carried out a cross border intergenerational exchange within the theme of Age Friendliness. The project goals were to foster solidarity between generations, foster cross border solidarity and to encourage conversation and debate around creating an Age Friendly Ireland and Europe. With the issuing of the Manifesto for an Age-Friendly European Union by 2020 by the EY2012 Coalition; the recent signing of the Dublin Declaration which commits cities and counties to be more age friendly in Ireland and also a similar commitment by Belfast City Council in Northern Ireland, this project was very relevant and timely in terms of raising awareness and highlighting the importance of age friendliness in Ireland and in Europe as a whole.
As part of the European Year 2012, Age Action and the National Youth Council collaborated on a Solidarity between Generations Programme where 13 intergenerational projects were funded and supported throughout the year. This video was filmed at the Solidarity between Generations Showcase on November 28, 2012 where participants of these projects came together to share their learning, experiences and best practice. The showcase was in itself intergenerational with people, young and old, who are involved in intergenerational work creating a graphic harvest piece which shows the foundations of intergenerational work, the people involved, the projects themselves and the benefits and impacts on their communities. Also, as part of the Showcase we launched the Intergenerational Programmes in Ireland Report which maps intergenerational initiatives which are going on across Ireland.
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.
Age Action Ireland
30/31 Lower Camden Street