The sky’s the limit for intergenerational action

It is a positive thing to bring older and younger people together at a time when our society is divided in many ways and segregated by age and there are multiple benefits of doing so, says Stephen Burke, director, United for All Ages

In April 2017, The Observernewspaper ran an article about Providence Mount in Seattle in the US, where a nursery is co-located with a care home. The article asked whether the care home nursery model of bringing the old and the young together could take off in the UK. 

The Apples and Honey Nightingale care home nursery in London, which opened in September last year, has shown that it can happen here and has been accompanied by a massive expansion in intergenerational interaction in care and learning over the past 12 months. 

No doubt media coverage has oiled the wheels – for example Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds, along with coverage of Apples and Honey Nightingale and Downshall primary school’s day care centre. But the media has been picking up on a wider range of grassroots initiatives. This is not driven top down by government, national or locally, either in policy or funding terms and it is not about rolling out a particular model, because there are lots of models

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