This intergenerational project brings together younger and older people through physical activity to tackle social isolation and loneliness, issues faced by young and old alike. Drawing on our global experience and expertise of using the power of sport to unite people from different backgrounds through carefully designed interventions, we aim to reduce loneliness in both age groups; promote regular interaction between young and old; reduce ageism; and increase physical activity by older people.
The challenges are threefold. Social isolation is an issue for young and old- 11% of 10-15 year olds report often feeling lonely; 1/4 of people over 50 report being lonely often /some of the time, loneliness can increase the risk of premature death and is linked to the social and emotional development in children, including academic attainment. Regular interactions between old and young are in steep decline. Physical activity declines with age and with it, functionality and independence.
Working across 5 lead schools we will deliver a discrete action-based research project in each area. Each lead school will identify a local partner school to create a paired research approach and both schools will each identify and work with an older people network or organisation. The projects will involve young people committing to 20 hours of volunteering each term for sporting and social activities and mutually beneficial intergenerational skill exchanges.
Active Across Ages will use the power of physical activity and sport to create opportunities for intergenerational activity to: - facilitate social mixing and promote social wellbeing - enhance physical and mental wellbeing - boost social action and social capital - establish credible and impactful models of intergenerational activity for future use both in the UK and internationally.