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/ 31 January 2013

Intergenerational Work: new project and resource

The Youth Development Project is embarking on an exciting new piece of intergenerational work with St Paul’s Church in North Marylebone.

We will be working to build positive relationships between older and younger people that live in Church Street Estate and Lisson Street Estate. The project will bring these two groups together to assist them in working towards a celebration led and planned by the participants.

YDPDL is doing this with the expertise and assistance of The Children’s Society’s Greenwich Intergenerational Project. The project has had great success running intergenerational work on Greenwich estates.

This is the first time we have done this work with a Church, an ideal place for intergen work. The Church is a great example of how older and young people can work together to create a loving community. However it still suffers from misunderstandings between the generations.

Sadly it is often the case that young people think that older people don’t like them, or assume that they want to cause trouble. At the same time older people worry that they won’t be listened to or young people will find them boring.

“Now I understand older people more. I’m more considerate towards them – they’re not different, they’ve the same issues as us”.

Young person, Glyndon Estate, Greenwich

Intergen work brings the two groups together and encourages them to think about what they can learn from other generations. We work with each group separately to help them start thinking about the other generation, their lives and experiences. The groups then come together and to explore their commonalities and share skills.

One of the encouraging results is that different generations discover what they have in common. In Greenwich older people realised that many young people share their concerns of community safety and that not all young people hang around causing trouble.

I am excited to see what the different generations will learn from each other in Marylebone. The project will run for six months but I hope it will build new and lasting relationships between different generations.

Perhaps your Church or community would like to embark on some intergen work? Get some older and younger people together and try this activity. Or if you’d like to explore this idea further get in touch.

Download the free resource.

This article was written by Ruth Burgess.

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