United for all Ages Newsletter
As 2020 moves to an eagerly awaited close, Covid has shown how much we value meaning and purpose in our lives, mixing and connecting with people of all ages.
Age segregation and lack of connection have many impacts – from loneliness and ageism to wasted experience and potential, poor health and care, and division in our communities and country. In addition Covid has exacerbated inequalities. We can fuel recovery by building connections and mutual support in a Britain that is united, not divided.
This month United for All Ages celebrates our tenth anniversary. Here are some steps we believe are key to creating a country for all ages by 2030:
- Intergenerational impact assessments – making policies work for people of all ages and future generations and legislating for the long term
- A new Department for Connection – joining up policies and action across government and supporting strategies for all ages in every community
- Housing for all ages – promoting inclusive intergenerational living and shared spaces where people of all ages can mix and share activities and experiences
- Well connected – demonstrating how intergenerational interaction can improve health, care and well-being as communities recover from Covid
- Starting early – implementing an intergenerational curriculum from nurseries and schools to colleges and universities, investing in citizenship
- Talking together – developing local forums and conversations between people of all ages, to help tackle intergenerational fairness and ageism
And if we can suggest just one resolution, how about making (and celebrating) a new connection every day in 2021? Happy connecting!
TOGETHER FOR TOMORROW – ILC-UK’S ANNUAL ‘FUTURE OF AGEING’ 2020 CONFERENCE
A brilliant line-up of speakers will address how we ensure that our ageing society delivers for all generations at the ILC-UK’s annual conference Thursday 3 December. United for All Ages is delighted to support this virtual event to show how health, care, housing, finance, public services and much more can work for people of all ages, bridge generational divides and promote an inclusive country. Join the debate on building intergenerational fairness. It’s still not too late to book a place.
The Housing LIN’s Summit 2020 takes place online throughout the first HAPPI awareness week on 7-11 December and includes a session on intergenerational housing on Thursday 10 December. The Intergenerational Housing Network, coordinated by United for All Ages, met recently to hear two presentations by winning and shortlisted entries in a competition run by Enfield council to develop creative intergenerational housing solutions. See www.unitedforallages.com/news for notes and a video of the meeting and more about the network, including our work to reinvent high streets.
LEADING THE WAY
SCOTLAND – Scotland’s Futures Forum, the Parliament’s think-tank, has published its Scotland 2030 report, which includes several intergenerational solutions. Generations Working Together has also published its manifesto for the forthcoming Scottish elections.
WALES – In November we were pleased to join the inaugural meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Intergenerational Solidarity set up by the Senedd. The meeting discussed priorities for the new group, highlighted positive examples of intergenerational activities, and selected Delyth Jewell as chair of the group.
PROJECT FOCUS: BEFRIENDING DURING COVID
TTTB is an intergenerational befriending organisation working in Brighton, Hove, Worthing, Adur and surrounding areas, addressing loneliness and isolation in older people. Working with the University of Sussex, TTTB surveyed 79 older members and 120 intergenerational volunteers to find out their experiences during the pandemic. They aimed to explore services that could be provided in the future over the long haul recovery. The average age of the members surveyed was 83, most living alone at home, and the befriending volunteers were mainly aged 20-55. The survey results have also been fed into the government’s Loneliness Network.
In March 2020 TTTB was supporting 357 older people through befriending services. By October 2020 this had reached 520 befriending matches, the largest growth the charity has seen. Additional referrals came through an emergency hub set up by the main local authority. To meet the need TTTB developed partnerships with two large local employers to access a bigger, more diverse pool of befriending volunteers.
Bridging Ages, TTTB’s life stories project, has continued over the phone during the pandemic with school pupils ringing older members to maintain their intergenerational project where young people gain journalism and writing skills, interviewing and recording older people and their life stories. These are then published and made into a hardback book. For more information click here – their toolkit is on the website.
INTERGENERATIONAL PROJECTS AND DEMENTIA
The Housing and Dementia Research Consortium is running a webinar on intergenerational programmes involving people living with dementia in housing/care settings, looking at their successes and challenges.
LEARNING THE LESSONS
The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the previous 12 months and what a year it’s been. Amongst contributions to such learning, I have written an article intergenerational relations in 2020 for a special edition of the Quality in Ageing and Older Adults journal which will be published in December.
Finally many congratulations to Kelly Lindsay of the intergenerational charity Friend In Deed for recently winning the Care Innovator category in the 2020 Great British Care Awards.