Young People at the Heart


The focus of the project was to develop positive outcomes for young people through effective intergenerational working. They strived to promote opportunities for older and younger people to come together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities, building greater understanding and respect between the generations. They aimed to develop a stronger sense of an integrated community of all ages and to build trusting positive relationships between the generations, with unlimited amounts of smiles and laughs on the way. The pandemic placed many hurdles in their way as they worked to develop a community of all generations. Providing at times outdoor opportunities, virtual online sessions to keep older people connected so they were not lonely and isolated, and doorstep deliveries to help improve health and wellbeing. The young people have shown an outstanding contribution and dedication to keeping the older people connected.

Enabling Inclusive Communities Award Winner
Generations Working Together recognises that intergenerational connection requires inclusion and respect for differences in identity and lived experience. This award recognises projects and initiatives that have made particular efforts to challenge ageism and promote age-friendly diversity and inclusion in communities. The project won this category of the GWT excellence awards in 2022. Generations Working Together commissioned a short film to showcase the project Young People at the Heart


During the period when the restrictions came in some of the activities were modified and included;

  • Intergenerational Outdoor Makaton signing – singing session with lunch provided by the young people who instructed and hosted the session – young people took part in a Makaton Level 1 and 2 courses to be able to deliver this
  • Intergenerational Art Project – a range of older people were interviewed about their lives they chose from a range of topics and then S1 art pupils decided to create various artworks
  • Creation of Christmas Calendars
  • Lockdown Piping
  • School online session
  • Lockdown letters, Poems, and handmade crafts between generations
  • Christmas cards handmade and baking deliveries delivered to local care homes
  • Dementia Friends training which is currently being delivered online for all generations
  • Cromarty Community Rowing Club – weekly sessions where young and older people can row together and build new skills intergenerational
  • Additionally, before the pandemic, there were weekly intergenerational board game sessions.

Benefits for the Community

  • Bringing together younger and older people and building relationships
  • Less generational conflict and misunderstanding
  • Keeping active and healthy
  • Younger people have been able to use some of the activities toward the Saltire award

Benefits for the Younger People

  • Provide opportunities for younger people to take part in an activity in a safe, stimulating, and relaxing atmosphere where they could gain new experiences and learn new skills
  • Gain recognition for volunteering taking part in various Awards and achievements such as Saltire Awards – taking part in many other certificated courses
  • Build strong trusting relationships with older people
  • Build Mutual Respect and tackle ageism and stereotypes
  • To increase confidence and self-esteem
  • To encourage young people to actively have their voices heard with others
  • To be recognised in the community in a positive manner
  • To become active resilient effective contributors
  • Young peoples Well Being is developed and improved
  • Young people are active participants – taking part in decision making – good engagement with the Black Isle Community Councils and Well Being on the Black Isle group
  • Better understanding of the needs of older people in our area
  • Young people develop empathy and resilience development which has a positive impact on older people
  • Young people play an active role in supporting others in their community – letting older see younger people in a new and positive light
  • Intergenerational Community partnership working results in transforming changes for young people
  • Various fundraising days – Bake-sales, cycles, casual days

Benefits for the Older People

  • To build trusting new relationships with younger people as well as other participants
  • To Improve Mental Health and Well Being
  • To tackle Loneliness and isolation
  • To Provide an activity that was tailored to the needs of every participant.
  • To provide activities to help social interaction, inclusion and improve the quality of life for the older person
  • To improve Digital Skills


The pandemic meant the project faced many hurdles and challenges all of which we overcame with some creative thinking. The project did a Makaton lunch outdoors and funding was received to purchase an outdoor Gazebo from the Youth Scotland RAF fund. Black Isle Cares also got funding from Age Concern Scotland for us to do the Afternoon Teas. Additionally, to support the community they did online activities and doorstop deliveries, lots of craft materials were home to keep people connected through the lockdown.


This project was funded by HighLife Highland staff time. The projects have been lucky enough to work in partnership with a number of partners and many of them provide funding and support to intergenerational work. Highlife Highland also do funding applications EG for Bakewell – Cookwell which enables them to provide refreshments and food at all sessions.


The project was evaluated week to week asking the learners what they enjoyed, what could be changed, how things could be improved. This was done with participants of both groups. This enabled the project to tailor the needs of each participant when they planned the next week’s session – they had quotes from a range of project participants and stats were tracked and monitored weekly such as attendance, tracking of young people volunteering hours Saltire Awards gained and lots of personal stories told to us about the benefit of the sessions.


The coordinator shared some feedback from the participants from the project, this included:

  • an increased sense of community involvement,
  • feeling valued by the school community,
  • meeting older friends from the community who they do not see regularly,
  • a reduced feeling of social isolation,
  • developing an increasingly positive view of Fortrose Academy,
  • making new friends,
  • making use of Fortrose Library, which then encourages them to use it in other ways.

Additional benefits that were reported included:

  • intergenerational events giving some structure to their week,
  • feeling their opinions and experiences are valued by young people,
  • participating in activities that keep them mentally agile e.g. Scrabble, laughing a lot.

Throughout the sessions, the feedback also showed that stereotypes were broken and people felt valued around Christmas which can be a particularly lonely time for people.

Local Priorities

The project offers opportunities and activities that are diverse and inclusive, building on the positive resources that young and older people have to offer each other. We offer a safe space (community venues) where different generations meet at no cost. The environment is mutually supportive where ideas are exchanged, and activities are tailored to individual needs.

Creating a community which is fairer, more integrated and collaborative through:

• Lifelong Learning
• Learning Together
• Reciprocal Learning

Scottish NPF Objectives

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

Scottish NPF Outcomes

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

And, also could contribute to:

WEALTHIER & FAIRER – will support activities that address inequalities and enhance skills, employability, and job opportunities. It builds on the characteristics of solidarity, cohesion, and sustainability to ensure that all of Scotland has an opportunity to flourish.