Our Projects

Our Projects

Engaging Generations

In 2023, Engaging Generations (EG) became a GFS-led initiative.

An integral aspect is ‘Meri,’ who is a support dog in training, offering another aspect of the wellness spectrum that has good scientific backing in intergenerational work.

Also, through our work at a local primary school, EG has invited the principal and the entire school student council to join a newly founded community group (Swan View Together includes Swan View Community Association, Swan View Salvation Army, Swan View Uniting Church, Swan View Primary School, as well as members of the two local councils within the district), to rebirth the local Carols By Candlelight as an annual event.

The impetus for the work arose from projects developed and delivered for many years in the UK by our CEO, and on the seminal work of Dr Bruce Perry.

Why intergenerational work?

From its inception GFS was built on social mentoring as “associates”, who today we would probably call “social mentors”, supported girls and young women by offering friendship and support. And having seen the untold benefits of the formal and informal ‘grandparenting’ facilitated in the UK over 20 years, to be part of such for GFS Perth, that had at the time a largely senior cohort who very much wanted to connect with younger people, was a natural step.

Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contribute to the building of more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the younger and older persons have to offer to each other and those around them. (Beth Johnson Foundation, Stoke on Trent, UK, 2009)

Intergenerational work is primarily reciprocal, generating benefit to more than just one generational group. An intergenerational approach, planned and delivered thoroughly, can achieve hugely positive results addressing local community concerns, priorities, and challenges. Benefits can be much wider reaching than initially envisaged and it is important to identify and celebrate them as they happen.

Some of the benefits of intergenerational practice are:

  • Improved social connections: Intergenerational practice can help to build social connections and relationships between people of different ages, which can have numerous benefits for mental health and wellbeing.

  • Increased understanding and respect: Intergenerational practice can help to increase understanding and respect between different generations and can help to reduce negative stereotypes and prejudices.

  • Enhanced learning and development: Intergenerational practice can provide valuable learning and development opportunities for both younger and older individuals, as they can learn from and teach one another.

  • Improved health and wellbeing: Some studies have found that intergenerational practice can have positive impacts on health and wellbeing, including reduced feelings of loneliness and improved physical and mental health outcomes.
  • Enhanced community cohesion: Intergenerational practice can help to build stronger, more inclusive communities by bringing people of different ages together and promoting understanding and cooperation.

  • Increased opportunities for volunteering and civic engagement: Intergenerational practice can provide opportunities for individuals of all ages to get involved in volunteering and civic engagement, which can have numerous benefits for both the individual and the community.