Mixing matters sets out why increasing connections between generations is key to the health, well-being and future of individuals, communities and ultimately our country. While Britain has become more age segregated in recent decades, this paper demonstrates there is a growing movement to tackle ‘age apartheid’.
This paper focuses on how older and younger people can come together through ‘shared sites’ with many inspiring and practical examples that could be replicated across the UK.
Four specific themes are explored:
- Shared care and play
- Shared housing and living
- Shared learning and work
- Shared community spaces and activities
The ambition is for 500 shared sites to be developed by 2022. With some 75,000 care homes, nurseries and schools in the UK, there is massive scope for the shared sites challenge to achieve much more.To make this happen, we need action and support from:
Policymakers – support and promote mixing between different ages, explaining why it’s key to creating a stronger Britain at all levels as part of national strategies for our ageing society and intergenerational fairness
Providers – build links with other local providers to facilitate intergenerational interaction; share lessons about what works (and doesn’t); learn from each other and get on with it
Regulators – recognise the importance of intergenerational interactions to older people and young people in the inspection and regulation of care, education and housing services; offer guidance to providers
Local authorities – bring providers of services for older people and young people together; transfer assets to support community-based businesses and organisations; develop strategies to create communities for all ages
Planners, developers, architects – ‘think mixing’ when planning and developing new and existing care, housing, education and other community schemes
Evaluators – provide evidence of what works and why, recognizing there are many models of shared sites
Funders – support capital and revenue funding bids to make mixing happen
Service users, families and staff – ensure they are involved from the early stages of all intergenerational projects; don’t underestimate the enthusiasm of the public of all ages for bringing older and younger people together