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Developing an Intergenerational P roject. Yvonne Coull. Aims of the Day. What is intergenerational working ? Where do I start and how do I contact schools and groups ? What are the do's and don'ts ? Where do I get funding? It benefits whom? How do we publicise our work?

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Developing an intergenerational p roject

Developing an Intergenerational Project

Yvonne Coull

Aims of the day
Aims of the Day

  • What is intergenerational working?

  • Where do I start and how do I contact schools and groups?

  • What are the do's and don'ts?

  • Where do I get funding?

  • It benefits whom?

  • How do we publicise our work?

  • Practical considerations

  • Barriers


Turn to the person next to you and tell each other:

Who you are

Who you work for or your interest in IG work

One interesting non work fact!

Then change sides! – 5 Minutes only!!

Principles of intergenerational practice
Principles of Intergenerational Practice

  • Mutual & reciprocal Benefit

  • Participatory

  • Asset based

  • Well planned

  • Culturally grounded

  • Strengthens community bonds and promotes active citizenship

  • Challenges ageism

  • Cross-disciplinary

    Pinto et al.


  • Brings people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities

  • Promotes greater understanding and respect between generations

  • Builds more cohesive communities

  • Is inclusive

  • Builds on the positive resources that young and old have to offer each other and those around them

    Beth Johnson Foundation

What is an intergenerational project
What is an Intergenerational Project?

  • Young people being supported to learn about financial issues

  • Older volunteers teaching young children to be aware of environmental dangers

  • Younger volunteers helping people with dementia with memory stories from the past around for example: football; the town; music

  • Conflict resolution in the community, creating understanding between various groups in the community, community safety and respect;

  • Community arts projects to improve the local environment;

  • Younger volunteers teaching older people modern technology, text messaging, iphones, emailing and the internet.

Generations working together
Generations Working Together

Case studies on web site under networks.


  • Who are the participants?

  • What do we want to achieve?

  • Involve all the participants in the planning from day one!

  • Write down your aims and outcomes

  • Write down who is going to benefit


  • Allotment growing vegetables

  • School choir going into care home to sing at Christmas

  • School, young people teaching old folks group about smart phones

  • Fire service bringing young and old from the community together to stop small fires

  • Intergenerational kitchen older people teaching younger people to cook.

Developing an intergenerational p roject

  • Do think about the wider picture

  • Identify someone who is the lead

  • Do identify outcomes and identify shared priorities

  • Do prepare

  • Discuss fears, queries and worries

  • Do identify key contacts within partner organisations, carers or families.

  • Do plan

  • Do allow enough time

  • Do create some quiet time for adults and space for the young people to be active

Don ts

  • Don’t ‘age’ segregate

  • Do not be overambitious

  • Don’t think of older people as just one homogenous group

  • Don’t forget that the needs of the younger old will be different from those of the older old

  • Don’t automatically assume everyone can attend all meetings

  • Don’t exclude minority groups

  • Don’t think disclosure is difficult and an obstacle

Benefiting whom
Benefiting Whom?

  • Document the activity and the aims and outcomes

  • What is your plan? Who is going to benefit and how?

  • Monitor and reflect on outcomes throughout the activity and how changes are occurring.

  • Obtain feedback from all involved.

  • Evaluate the project as a whole and draw out sustainable elements which can continue.

Where do i get funding
Where do I get funding?

  • Local Authority

  • BIG

  • Charity

  • Foundation Scotland

  • Comic Relief

  • Red Nose Day

  • Banks – Zurich Community Fund; Lloyds TSB Foundation; Santander; Baring Foundation

  • Funding Central

  • Europe Intergenerational Work and Learning


  • Beth Johnson Foundation


  • Evaluate Scotland


  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation


Promoting your project
Promoting Your Project

  • Who are you going to tell?

  • What are you going to tell them?

Who are you going to tell
Who are you going to tell?

  • Make a list of who you want to tell

  • What form of communication are you going to use?

    • Press Release/Posters/Radio

    • Local publications/local websites

    • Modern Social Media

    • Hold an event

What are you going to tell them
What are you going to tell them?

  • Make 5 or 6 main points

  • Personal Stories/Case Studies

  • Words or pictures?

  • Remember – planning and organising help!!

Practical considerations
Practical considerations

  • Bringing the groups together

  • Clarifying the purposes and aims of the work

  • Inclusion

  • Provide opportunities for questions and concerns to be addressed

  • Resources

  • Disclosure

Bringing groups together
Bringing Groups Together

  • Groups may benefit from meeting separately before meeting together

  • First meeting together needs to be planned carefully

  • This process has implications for timescales, venues and activities

Practical considerations1
Practical Considerations

  • Time

  • Child care 

  • School times and terms

  • Daylight hours 

  • Costs and transport for members

  • Language differences


  • Participants may feel that it’s not for them  

  • Jargon, difficulties understanding key concepts, such as ‘intergenerational’ and ‘intergenerational practice’ 

  • Prejudice and mistrust

  • Local dynamics/history

  • Negativity e.g.. the fear of what people think of


  • Fatigue – feeling that things will never change


  • It can encourage inclusion and involvement, reduce prejudice and help build social capital and cohesion

  • It can be a powerful community engagement tool

  • It can be about how services are delivered in a more effective way