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Intergenerational working

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Dr. Alan Hatton–Yeo MBE delivered an exciting workshop on the topic of Intergenerational Practice (IP) at the Irish in Britain AGM on 27 January. He covered the history of the concept and provided examples of successful intergenerational projects throughout the UK. You can find Alan’s presentation below, further information on the practice, links to key resources, and examples of how you can implement intergenerational practice into your organisation’s activities.

What is Intergenerational Practice?

Intergenerational practice is any project or activity that includes people from two or more generations and aims to achieve positive outcomes for both groups. The practice arose out of concerns that different generations were growing increasingly distant and disconnected, and has grown into a strategy for mitigating the problems frequently affecting two vulnerable groups, the young and the elderly.

Examples of intergenerational practice vary widely, and the strategy can be useful in many contexts. Frequently employed programs include one–off interactions, such as introducing young people to residents of a nursing home, and more intensive projects, such as daily or weekly mentorship programs. 

You can find case studies of intergenerational practice here. 

Why intergenerational practice?

Intergenerational practice (IP) can lead to positive outcomes for participants and the broader community.  IP projects can improve community cohesion by developing ties between groups that don’t often meet or interact. This can help to improve the connection of both groups to the broader community and reduce feelings of tension between them.

Additionally, by creating opportunities for regular social interaction, IP programs can help to reduce feelings of social isolation amongst the elderly, increase feelings of motivation and self–worth, and contribute to improved health and well–being. Mentoring and coaching programs have been particularly valuable at instilling older people with an improved sense of self–worth and recognition for the skills they possess.

Similarly, young people involved in IP have shown increased self–esteem and resilience, an enhanced sense of social responsibility, and improved health and education outcomes.

Intergenerational Practice and Irish in Britain Members

Intergenerational working represents an excellent opportunity for Irish in Britain members to further involve young people. Mentoring, coaching, and intergenerational learning opportunities can be a great way to increase the participation of young people in Irish community groups in Britain.

Learn More

Videos

Generation working together

Nursery intergenerational project

Old School with the Hairy Bikers

Documents 

Alan Hatton–Yeo’s Presentation

Beth Johnson Foundation’s Guide to intergenerational practice