“Intergenerational week isn’t just about the very young and elderly getting together”

29th Apr 2022 - Written by Katy Westaway

Reading time: 3 minutes

To commemorate Intergenerational Week we spoke to Emma Gwynne, Community Engagement & Volunteering Manager, to find out more about her thoughts on the week and how we can be involved.

Global Intergenerational Week is an online campaign which starts conversations around intergenerational activity across the UK. The purpose is to promote a level of respect between generations and bring people together in their communities.

We spoke to Emma Gwynne, Community Engagement & Volunteering Manager, about her thoughts on Intergenerational Week.

What does IGW mean to you?

It’s so fantastic to see lots of charities and organisations celebrating Intergenerational Week, it’s an excellent way to bring people together, and the good it does is incredible! However, I feel the week can sometimes get lost in translation, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the very young and elderly coming together. I think it’s about understanding what makes communities thrive, taking a step back and thinking, what can I do right now to make a difference to the people that live in my community?

Intergenerational week shines a light on the beautiful work that already goes on within our communities. We know that the pandemic has negatively affected the physical and mental well-being of those we care for and support, so building connections within the community is vital! There are many ways communities can come together regardless of age. This can be done by creating events and activities for everyone to get involved in.

What can people do to get involved in IGW?

Firstly, know that you can make a difference, whatever time you have, it’s the small things as well as the longer-term commitments that can help reduce isolation and loneliness of all ages. Of course, I’m an advocate for volunteering. If you haven’t tried it, give it a go! You will feel the benefits as much as the person you are supporting. We welcome people from all walks of life to volunteer with us at Brunelcare and no experience is necessary.

Why is IGW more than just older and younger people coming together for the week?

We live and interact with multiple generations in our own homes and communities. Within our homes in Brunelcare, we may have three generations living with us in just one space. We even have a mother and daughter living together at our Waverley Gardens Extra Care Housing Site!

Intergenerational work helps to reduce social isolation for all ages, bringing people together allows us to appreciate each other. It feels that we can miss so many fantastic opportunities if we only have a limited view of what intergenerational means. Intergenerational Week helps us all to address this and understand the myriad of ways we can support intergenerational work and learn from the fantastic work that already exists. We need to challenge ourselves to be creative, innovate and embrace the difference we can all make.

We offer many volunteer opportunities at Brunelcare and the benefits are fantastic! But, there is so much more we can do within our communities, from having a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour to organising a community raffle or bingo night in our local village hall. Let’s all come together this Intergenerational Week and spend more time with people of all ages that live in our communities.

To find out more about Intergenerational Week, visit Global Intergenerational Week.