Our Come Eat Together project has an intergenerational aspect to it too. As families move away, grow up or have busy lives, many older people find they miss the company of young people. Older people who don’t have contact with young people can sometimes feel less confident when they are among young people, especially if they are in a group. Young people can feel just the same when they are with a group of older people; they’re not sure what to say or how to talk to them.
At Age UK County Durham we try where possible to make it possible to bring older and younger people together in meaningful ways to help break down the barrier between the generations.
When Bishop Auckland College offered to open their college to our project and brought their students to meet with Come Eat Together members and plan the new lunch club, wonderful things started to happen. Our members were delighted to meet the young students and were immediately excited about the prospect of interacting with them on a regular basis in the beauty salon and IT rooms. The students were initially more reserved, however by the end of the planning meeting and after giving the members a tour of their campus, everyone was more relaxed.
The Lunch club at Bishop Auckland College has gone from strength to strength. It is always fully subscribed and the students from Hospitality & Catering and Social Care & Health departments have told us they really enjoy their experience and value their contact time with our older members.
Here you can see a short video which we hope gives a flavour of this successful partnership.