This year has seen staff and volunteers from Silver Chain’s three Social Centres across metropolitan Perth busy organising and hosting various intergenerational activities with local schools and playgroups, including:
Mandurah Social Centre
Fortnightly intergenerational activities with Special Ed students from Riverside Primary.
Working with local community groups including Adopt a Grandparent to arrange meet-ups between clients and local young mothers who have migrated and left grandparents in other countries.
Rockingham Social Centre
Working with Playgroup WA to establish regular intergenerational opportunities. Playgroup WA has provided a facilitator to partner with us. We are looking to increase family attendance.
Together with students from Bungaree Primary School, hosted a High Tea Dance for local seniors, and continue to work with a local artist on a wall mural and ongoing art in the Centre’s interactive corridor.
Fremantle Social Centre
Started regular intergenerational activities with Kerry Street Community School. Kerry Street is a local new-age school with a forward thinking philosophy – students grow their own vegetables and keep chickens – and there is a strong focus on arts and language which supports the multicultural offerings of the Centre.
Launched a new playgroup as well as welcomed an established group comprising 12 local families who will join us once a month.
Silver Chain Activities Co-ordinator Social Centres, Mandy Holmshaw, is passionate about intergenerational work and the benefits it provides to both generations, and has been instrumental in building these community partnerships.
“These activities support communication between young and old,” Mandy said.
“They unlock the history that can be passed down from generations, and foster in children those old family values that are slowly disappearing as children move, migrate or lose grandparents and no longer have access to this wisdom within the family unit.
“In turn, children offer the seniors knowledge on the ever-changing world that they are growing up in – iPads, mobile phones, email, social media and technology in general.”
“We strongly believe these activities encourage the growth of friendships, trust and hopefully long-lasting relationships,” Mandy said.
What is intergenerational practice?
Intergenerational practice brings people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities to promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contribute to stronger, better connected communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the young and old have to offer each other and those around them.