Intergenerational connection and learning have always been a fundamental part of flourishing, thriving communities and cultures. The last 50 years, however, have seen a growing trend towards age segregation in various facets of life, including school education, the workplace and within the extended family and broader social life. This has led to reduced opportunities for different generations to learn from one another and has also contributed to social isolation, and in some cases to poorer health and a lower quality of life outcomes.
Having strong relationships and connections with people nearby who are young and old, contributes to childrens sense of belonging and safety. Intergenerational programmes also improve literacy and social skills in children while reducing reports of loneliness in the older participants. Intergenerational learning is an important part of lifelong learning. However, over the last few years, many of these programmes have come to a halt due to the pandemic and associated risks. There is strong need to restart different intergenerational programs and expanding newer initiatives to connect people of different ages.
Collaboration with local schools
Many local schools have great programmes that benefit younger and older people in their communities. Some that have run for many years. The Russley Village and Te Ara Maurea Roydvale School [Roydvale Primary School] have enjoyed a close relationship over the years. The pandemic and current construction at the school have restricted faceto- face programmes this year. “We hope to resume with the many wonderful volunteer initiatives and school visitationsduring the 2023 school year. The residents really love the interaction and performances by school groups bring much joy,” says Tim Dearsley, The Russley Village Manager. “Many of our residents have volunteered with the school reading programme. We also organised a garden project some time ago and would like to explore further programmes to be involved in future. There is great interest among residents and great to be having these conversations again. We are also fortunate we have an active resident who leads the conversation with the local school.”
Connection is one of the key aspects behind thriving communities. Research shows that when the generations come together everyone benefits, children and youth, older adults, and the community at large. It forms an integral part of developing resilient and sustainable communities, nurturing a sense of belonging and social well-being.
Benefits for Youth and Children: • Improve Academic Performance • Enhance Social Skills • Decrease Negative Behaviour • Increase Stability • Positive Role Models Benefits for Older Adults: • Enhance Socialisation • Stimulate Learning • Increase Emotional Support • Improve Health Benefits for Community: • Strengthen Community • Encourage Cultural Exchange
Benefits for Older Adults: • Enhance Socialisation • Stimulate Learning • Increase Emotional Support • Improve Health
Benefits for Community: • Strengthen Community • Encourage Cultural Exchange
Share this article via: