Across age lines: a call to action

Nov 17, 2020 | HOME FEATURED RIGHT, NEWS & VIEWS, Older people, Resident involvement, Young people

This blog is a guest post from InCommon which first appeared on their website on 3 November 2020. You can read the original here.

Our local communities need us more than ever. It’s time to bring generations together to take action.

We’re delighted to announce that we are launching InCommon’s first social action programme. In partnership with youth groups across the country we’ll be supporting young social housing residents to run intergenerational social action projects in their local communities.

Funding has been provided by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, and the #iwill Fund: a £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.

At a time when Britain feels particularly divided along generational lines, it’s important now, more than ever, to bring younger and older people together to pave the way for a better future. Intergenerational social action does just that.

Over the last few months, the Covid-19 outbreak has reminded us of the importance of community. The rallying of mutual aid support groups and in particular, the stories of generations helping one another is something that we must build upon. We’ve frequently seen young people stepping forward to take action. The Beatfreeks Youth Trends report found that over half of young people were making more effort to help those in need since the pandemic, and an amazing 92% of young people think this could be a moment to change society for the better.

We shouldn’t have to come together as a society solely because of a crisis, rather we should focus on creating resilient communities that can take on and tackle large social problems that affect us all. Intergenerational projects are at the core of this and we’ll be harnessing this desire for change and bringing young and old together to support their communities.

Based around the principles of leadership, reciprocity, challenge and growth, the programme allows young and old to come together to get inspired and excited about a social issue that they both care about. We will give them the tools and confidence to create and deliver a project that makes positive change a reality. There’s even a small grant up for grabs to put some welly behind each project.

Ideas could involve anything, from campaigning and fundraising, to hosting a community event or collaborating on a creative project. Imagine a digital outreach scheme, where younger people teach older people tech skills to keep them connected during Covid-19, or a campaign to promote mental health and wellbeing. This is a great opportunity for younger people to unleash their creativity and we’re so excited to see what ideas come to fruition. Ultimately, anything is possible.

This is a chance for the current stewards of the planet to share their experience and expertise with the custodians of the future. Together, we can create lasting positive change.

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