Active Across AgesYST Active Across Ages
Intergenerational projects are increasing in popularity with the recognition that bringing young people and older adults together in purposeful activity brings considerable health and social benefits to both.
Active Across Ages is a YST programme which was funded as a pilot project throughout 2019 by YST International and Sir John Beckwith Charitable Trust. During this phase 10 primary, secondary and special schools worked in partnership with 10 older people’s settings including care homes, community groups and day centres.
The project set out to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of participants, provide volunteering opportunities, develop employability skills and confidence to be physically active. It also provided opportunities to support primary to secondary transition and enhance local community relationships.
Following a teacher briefing and young leader (Activity Buddy) training, the Activity Buddies (pictured) worked with their older people’s partners to understand what physical activities their older adults would like to do and planned programmes of activities for both old and young to enjoy together. To share ideas and raise self-esteem both the young people and older adults have led activities such as boccia and new age curling and worked together to invent their own games which have been developed into Active Across Ages activity cards.
After two terms of weekly visits, the Activity Buddies completed an average of 20 hours volunteering each and enjoyed local celebration events with their older adult partners.
The impact of the pilot project has been overwhelmingly positive with changes amongst children and adults in social wellbeing and perceptions of each other. Most significantly, all 10 pilot schools and their older partners are intending to continue to work and play together beyond the life of the pilot as the benefits of taking part have been felt by all.
As a YST innovation project the Active Across Ages pilot was guided by an advisory group of intergenerational experts, underpinned by a literature review of best practice, was intensively evaluated and peer reviewed. The Active Across Ages Impact Report is available here.
YST are currently seeking funding to make Active Across Ages available to more schools and older people settings. If you are interested in getting involved please complete the registration form below.
For further information, or if you would like to support this work with funding, please contact: