There are so many stories across the media, particularly during lockdown, that celebrate all the good work taking place, bringing our communities together. Lots of these stories focus on different age groups supporting one another. Intergenerational projects are positive and effective ways of continuing to strengthen community links. Focusing on bringing together members of the community from all different ages, from the oldest to the youngest and everyone in between, intergenerational projects are a core component of building community.
Research carried out by the United Nations shows that by the year 2050, the number of people over the age of 60 is projected to rise by 50% in developed countries and triple in developing countries, with global life expectancy increasing to 75 years. Added to this, families are becoming smaller with more young people postponing marriage, having fewer children and several generations of the same family no longer living in the same household. Safe to say, the world is changing.
The importance of creating intergenerational relationships is crucial, now more than ever, when we see segregation across many parts of our communities. The UN’s report, ‘Family Policy in a Changing World: Promoting Social Protection and Intergenerational Solidarity’ states that:
‘...meaningful relationships based on mutual understanding between intergenerational family members are indispensable for social integration and cohesion’.