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Global Intergenerational Week: Let’s Reconnect

Now in its third year, Global Intergenerational Week  is a campaign connecting everyone who is passionate about everything intergenerational.
The week aims to inspire individuals, groups, organisations, local/national government, and NGOs to fully embrace intergenerational practice, connecting people of all ages especially the younger and older generations.
Each day this week, there are themes to provide opportunities to share ideas and give inspiration.
Today, Monday 25th April the theme is ‘Let's reconnect’
Showcasing community connecting, post covid rebuilding, the campaign encourages everyone to share positive intergenerational learning stories from lockdown as we move forward to reconnect generations.
Here are four innovative projects connecting the generations:
1.     Caring in COVID
An important part of the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic is the role played by care organisations and the communities they serve. To help record and highlight the incredible response of the not-for-profit sector in the UK, the National Care Forum reached out to member to bring together these uplifting stories in one publication.
The Caring in COVID ebook is collection of these stories; through this collation, the reader peeks behind the closed doors and experiences what it was really like for care staff, residents in care homes, and people needing support in their own homes during lockdown.
From using the latest technology to innovative volunteer programmes, organisations worked hard to not only bring families together, but also to engage the local community and ensure intergenerational interactions continued.
Care provider Accord’s Amber Wood Dementia Centre of Excellence encouraged families to send photos and videos of what they were doing so residents could still feel involved in their lives. Videos were watched on repeat and photos were sent along with letters and cards and pictures from grandchildren.
At Worthing charity Guild Care’s Caer Gwent nursing home, ten 16-year-old volunteers spent a day cleaning and repainting garden furniture and railings.
Meanwhile, in Bournemouth at the Retired Nurses National Home, a pen-pal letter exchange was setup between a number of the residents and volunteers, a local cub scout group and a Duke of Edinburgh Award student.
Download a copy of Caring in COVID and read many more inspiring stories here https://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/projects/ncf-caring-in-covid-project/
2.     Become a care home friend – Intergenerational Challenge
Over the past 2 years, the UK organisation My Home Life has been supporting young people aged 5-14 from schools and youth groups to connect with older people living in care homes across 11 different areas of England.
To give more children across the UK the opportunity to engage in intergenerational social action with care homes, the ‘Become a Care Home Friend’ Challenge has been launched. Through fun activities, this 10-week intergenerational challenge, aims to help young people think more about different ages and different generations, learn about care homes and the people that live and work in them, make/write something to share with a nearby care home, and have lots of fun along the way! More details here https://myhomelife.org.uk/community-engagement/intergenerational-linking/care-home-friend-challenge/
3.     Intergenerational story telling performance
Everyone has a story, and in the US, an intergenerational group of participants from across Memphis have collaborated with the Orpheum Theatre Group to create original theatrical performances sharing their stories and reflections in their own words.
Storyfest, 29-30 April 2022, features free live performances, engagement activities, and community reflections at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum in Memphis.
Find out more about this intergenerational event here: https://orpheum-memphis.com/event/storyfest
4.     Big & Mini
A group of volunteers with roots in the US and community around the globe designed the Big & Mini platform to reduce senior and youth isolation while providing mentorship and mutual friendship.
The young developers pointed out, as members of the newest generation of creators, they’ve grown up in a world where seeing a friend is as simple as pressing a button on a phone. Being constantly connected to others is all the younger generation has ever known.
However, they were disappointed that an entire generation of older individuals with the best stories on Earth are left out of the communication loop. At Big & Mini, they asked why this was the case.
‘It wasn’t the lack of technology; nearly all seniors we talked to had some form of mobile device. Nor was it the learning curve associated with technology; many of them were better at using Facebook than we were! It was simply a communication blip— somehow, in the age of social networking and video calls, nobody thought to connect the Bigs of society with the Minis,’ they point out.
While Big & Mini was born in response to the increased loneliness and separation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the developers’ goal of developing connections across generations and creating a more convenient way to communicate is helping to solve a problem (social isolation), which exists well past the scope of COVID-19.
Find out more about the platform here: https://bigandmini.org/
Intergenerational activity is about more than bringing younger and older people together, it is a systemic approach to community development and wellbeing that recognises and values the contribution of all generations who live there.
Join us in celebrating Global Intergenerational week! Share your intergenerational stories and activities on social media using the hashtag #IntergenerationalWeek.
Plan for the future
We believe standards in senior living should to be intergenerational and inclusive of the wider community, and aspects of senior living should be integrated into community infrastructure and developments.
Now is the time to develop new ways of connecting and being creative in how we use our spaces and places, and the resources generations have to offer one another.
If you’re interested in learning more about Standards Wise International’s senior living Standards and Accreditation programme, contact Nigel on: +44 (0) 203 753 5312 or by email, admin@standardswise-int.co.uk
For examples of innovative programmes, events and articles of interest from around the world, please follow us on:
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International Intergenerational Interdependency Inclusion Events