This week saw the release of a much awaited document created by the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) in response to their call for evidence upon the importance of social integration in the UK.
The report can be found here
The report focuses on four main policy areas through which stronger intergenerational connections can be fostered:
- Intergenerational communities: the role of local, grassroots initiatives which unite generations through shared interests such as art, music, politics and conversation, what they can do to be more effective, and how local and central government can help them thrive.
- Intergenerational public services: how intergenerational connection can be embedded throughout care and education, on public transport, and via schemes to help older people stay active in their communities.
- Intergenerational housing and planning: how existing housing can be used to improve intergenerational connection, and how new housing, as well as whole towns and cities, can be designed for all ages.
- Technology and intergenerational connection: the role of technology as both a source of disconnection and loneliness among different age groups and as a potential tool for strengthening intergenerational connections.
Some of the key policy recommendations made in the report are:
- 1p charge on self-service checkout machines: the APPG thinks it makes sense to see if a fraction of the cost savings brought about by technological changes, which often reduce human contact, can be put back into initiatives that support greater social interaction, and in this case intergenerational connection. The APPG would like to explore this idea further. The APPG’s calculations suggest this policy might yield upwards of £30 million per year to strengthen local intergenerational projects.
- Co-location within care and education: all nurseries, schools and care homes should be encouraged to link up, and foster connections between, the different generations who use their services.
- A new flagship national volunteering service for older people: the government should work alongside charities, community groups, schools and others to connect older people to volunteering opportunities in their local communities.
- Tax break for volunteering within public services: the government should incentivise volunteering for a certain number of hours per month within a public service, such as a nursery, school or care home.
- ‘Take Your Headphones Off Day’: the APPG would encourage a citizen-led campaign to promote conversation on public transport between passengers of all ages.
We would greatly appreciate any promotion you are able to give of the report. The APPG’s twitter handle is @IntegrationAPPG, while the handle for the APPG’s secretariat, The Challenge, is @TheChallenge_UK. Our hashtag for the launch is #HealingDivides.