Opportunities for social connection between generations in the UK have diminished over the last few decades because of changes in the way that we live and work. The decline in communal spaces such as libraries, youth clubs and community centres mean that there are fewer opportunities to meet and mix socially with other generations outside our own families. Increased working hours, improved technology, changes in family patterns, relationship breakdowns within families and migration are also believed to be contributory factors to generation segregation. There are many potential economic, social and political impacts of generations living separate and parallel lives, for example, higher health and social care costs, an undermining of trust between generations reduced social capital, a reliance on the media to form understanding of others’ viewpoints and higher levels of anxiety and loneliness. Intergenerational programmes and activities can take many forms and are delivered in many settings. Evidence suggests that intergenerational activity can have a positive impact on participants, for example, in reducing loneliness and exclusion for both older people and children and young people, improving mental health, increasing mutual understanding and addressing important issues such as ageism, housing and care. There are currently no other EGMs that exist that address this type of intervention; however, it would complement existing EGMs addressing child welfare.
Campbell, F., Whear, R., Rogers, M., Sutton, A., Robinson-Carter, E., Barlow, J., Sharpe, R., Cohen, S., Wolstenholme, L., & Thompson-Coon, J. (2023). Non-familial intergenerational interventions and their impact on social and mental wellbeing of both younger and older people—A mapping review and evidence and gap map. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 19, e1306. https://doi.org/10.1002/cl2.1306