All Sorts: Games for All


The Volunteer Centre is already working in partnership with Generations Working Together, schools, youth agencies and older people’s services to set up and manage projects bringing different generations together. An intergenerational approach helps to bridge the gap between generations, closely matching key national and local government policy and priorities including social inclusion and community cohesion. Positive feedback from stakeholders led to an increase in demand which the volunteer centre could not meet – this led to a successful application to the Young Start fund to provide 3 intergenerational projects per year over 2 years.

What we did

Meetings were held involving the Deputy Head, St Joseph’s Academy and the Graceland Care Home Manager. The Project Manager met with the residents and pupils who had expressed an initial interest resulting in 10 older people and 6 pupils becoming involved. The pupils were 15 years of age and the older people were 75 + (some had mild dementia).

“Games for All” sessions were provided weekly within the care home by an experienced facilitator from the Volunteer Centre and an activities co-ordinator from the Care Home. Activities included: musical bingo (ending in a singsong) dominos, cards, floor darts, spelling and arithmetic quizzes, skittles and the ‘talking’ ball. Time was always allocated for tea, cakes and a chat. One particular session went down well when the boys arrived at the Care Home in their onesies!

The final week ended on a high note when the group took part in a Casino Royale Day. A roulettes table, tokens and 1920’s dress all added to the fun and made it a day to remember

Benefits for the Community

• Bringing together people from the community, not just direct participants but relatives, neighbours, council services departments

Benefits for the Younger People

• Increased confidence
• Better communication skills
• Improved attention span
• Gained a sense of responsibility (attendance was higher than at school)
• Provided a career path for some
• More respect for older people
• Young people received a Saltire Award for their volunteering

Benefits for the Older People

• Increased well-being
• Gave them something to look forward to each week
• Reduced isolation
• Improved relationships with young people
• An opportunity to have fun
• Less dependency on care staff


Big Lottery – Young Start fund


The Volunteer Centre uses the LEAP model for planning and evaluation. Stakeholders were involved in a post event short question interview including care home residents, young volunteers, care home staff, education services and the school psychologist. Results were positive – and significantly the Care Home, the School and the Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire have all committed to another project

A recent Care Inspectorate’s report of Graceland was highly commended as a direct result of this project (not published at time of writing)

Local Priorities

East Ayrshire Community Plan – current local outcome priorities:

Promoting Lifelong Learning
• Positive and sustained destinations for learners improved – example; one young person continued to volunteer beyond the life of the project and has now been accepted on to a training course
• Community capacity, spirit and cohesion developed – example; people from outside the care home have now become involved in the activities

Delivering Community Regeneration
• Skills development and employability improved – example; one young person was offered a Modern Apprenticeship at the end of the year. Previously the person would not have considered a carer’s job and the care home would not have considered his application based on his school record;

Community Safety
• Crime and anti-social behaviour tackled, and the fear of crime and anti-social
behaviour reduced – example; older people know more younger people and have stated that they have changed views
• Preventative and diversionary activity delivered – example; young people who were at risk of offending found activities

Improving Health and Wellbeing
• Active, healthy lifestyles and positive behaviour change promoted – example; older people participated in activities which involved physical exercise
• Older people, vulnerable adults and their carers supported, included and empowered
to live the healthiest life possible – example; older people actively helped chose activities

What did and did not work

  • Partnership with school and care home worked well
  • Sometimes activities had to be altered due to the mental health of the older participants

More consideration needs to be given regarding the impact people have on activities, who are living with mild dementia.

What changed as a result of the project

• St Joseph’s Academy and Graceland Care Home began another Reminiscence project in September 2014
• The project manager delivered a presentation to senior management teams of East Ayrshire schools. This resulted in two new partners for All Sorts; a secondary school for pupils with learning difficulties and Ayrshire College.
• Schools in East Ayrshire clearly acknowledge that Intergenerational projects/activities can contribute to the Curriculum for Excellence
• East Ayrshire Council is now close to endorsing GWT’s publication “Guidelines: Bringing together Local Authorities and Intergenerational Practice in a Scottish Policy Context – a resource which clearly shows the link between Intergenerational Practice and Scottish National Priorities.
• As a result of the success of this project the Care Home has now become an additional referral source for our Befriending project for older people.

Next steps

• The Volunteer Centre will set up and manage 5 Intergenerational Projects of this nature within a year – 3 of which are Young Start funded
• The centre has secured funding from Community Safety, East Ayrshire Council to organise an Intergenerational event; SIR “Stereotyping is Ridiculous” involving 30 young people and 30 older people
• The centre plans to publish an evaluation document covering the two year project
• The Centre is seeking funding to extend the Lottery grant after March 2015

Scottish NPF Objectives

This project contributes to the Scottish National Performance Framework (NPF).

SMARTER – Expanding opportunities to succeed from nurture through to lifelong learning ensuring higher and more widely shared achievements.

These NPF objectives could also apply:

SAFER & STRONGER – Helping communities to flourish becoming stronger, safer places to live, offering improved opportunities and a better quality of life.

HEALTHIER – helping people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.

Scottish NPF Outcomes

Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens: To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.

We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations

We live longer, healthier lives

We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger