Ending age-segregation in UK will benefit every generation post-Covid

Bringing the generations closer together will deliver huge benefits right across our society the NPC’s final Annual Convention webinar heard today (29th June).


Guest speakers at the online event – Generations United: Bridging the Age Gap – gave evidence of projects and initiatives that spectacularly benefitted young and old participants.


Judith Ish-Horowicz MBE spoke about the joy and learning gained by everyone at the Apples and Honey Nightingale Nursery, which she set up in a London care home, where the average age of the residents is 92, and the children are aged just three and four.


Judith said: “We have observed the many great benefits that the care home residents derive from mixing with the children, and you can see from the joy on the faces of the children that they also enjoy and learn so much from being with their ‘Grandfriends.’


Denise Burke, co-founder and Director of United for All Ages, told the session that a strategic approach to developing ‘communities for all ages; is increasingly showing what can be achieved to end loneliness among older people, while building engagement and understanding among younger people. The organisation consults on a diverse range of initiatives, from intergenerational activities such as school visits by older people, through to carefully planned multi-generational housing and communities.


Denise said: “Britain is one of the most age segregated countries, with communities and services often siloed by age, families are increasingly fragmented. What we do know is that the segregation of the ages creates a lack of connection and trust and that drives division.

“Children and young people and older people face crises. Social care, childcare and health are in crisis and that is often because of age segregation.”


“(But) Every organisation can be somewhere on the scale to bring people together. Before the pandemic hit, there was a real growth in intergenerational initiatives and we believe this will continue afterwards.”


The session also heard from young RMT union member James Lynch who spoke of his enjoyment in working with colleagues of all ages and the benefits they all derived from it.

While poet and ‘granny’ rapper Joy France delighted the webinar audience with her experience of entering ‘rap battle’ competitions with young people, which had led to great inter-age friendships.


Commenting on the session, NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said: “This was a very special webinar for the NPC – as an organisation we are committed to bridging the gap between the ages and our speakers showed how this can be done, and with great success. My thanks to them all!”


NPC President Ron Douglas thanked all the speakers involved across all four NPC Virtual Annual Convention webinars this June. “It was a very different event for us to be online instead of meeting in person. But we have heard some excellent discussions at the 2021 events, which is extremely encouraging for when we all get back together in person in 2022.


The webinar, chaired by NPC President Ron Douglas, heard from: Denise Burke, Director, United for all Ages; Judith Ish-Horowicz MBE, Founder, Apples & Honey Nightingale Nursery for Toddlers and Older People; James Lynch, RMT youth intergenerational spokesperson; and ‘Rapping Nana Panda’ Joy France, Pensioner Poet & Battle Rapper.


A video of the full session can be viewed here:


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