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.
Funded by YST International and Sir John Beckwith Charitable Trust, Active Across Ages is a YST innovation project involving 10 primary, secondary and special schools working 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 is also providing 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 are currently being developed into Active Across Ages activity cards.
As the pilot phase of the project nears its conclusion, the Activity Buddies have completed an average of 20 hours volunteering and are looking forward to local celebration events with their older adult partners.
Anecdotally the impact of the pilot project has been overwhelmingly positive with significant changes amongst children and adults in social wellbeing and a strong desire by the pilot schools to continue the project beyond the life of the funding.
As a YST innovation project Active Across Ages is underpinned by a literature review of best practice, is being intensively evaluated and peer reviewed. We are working with an advisory group of intergenerational experts and following the 2019 pilot will produce an impact report which will be shared on this site in February 2020.
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