Group scheme bridges the generation gap

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Community: Liverpool Cares hosts a social event. Pic © Liverpool Cares

A new initiative hoping to bridge the gap between the city’s elderly and the younger population has been launched.

After success across the rest of the UK, the volunteer organisation has set up a local office in the city the name Liverpool Cares.

The group runs a range of classes and sessions, from dance lessons to pub socials, steering well clear from activities traditionally associated with the older generation.

The aim of the organisation is to minimise the number of people who are feeling anonymous, isolated and left behind as the world around us continues to develop at double speed.

Older people often have deep roots in the areas they have lived in for years, yet few connections – leaving them feeling disconnected and forgotten.

Conversely, younger people can have hundreds of social media connections, but no roots in their community.

Vimeo: Liverpool Cares

These parallel worlds can cause people to feel isolated and divided, but Liverpool Cares seeks to address this disconnection by gathering people together to form a new community.

The group has grown immensely considering it has only been running in Liverpool for a month, with more than 60 volunteers getting involved.

They also have a ‘love my neighbour’ scheme in which a volunteer is matched with an older person based on shared interests and personalities.

Social: Members of the group enjoying themselves at a social. Pic © Liverpool Cares

They are encouraged to spend time getting to know each other and engaging in activities they both enjoy.

Head of Programmes, Rosa Friend, describes initiative as “incredible”. She told JMU Journalism: “I’ve moved to new cities before and had that awful feeling of not really knowing anyone.

“When I started to make friends, I realised the people I was getting to know were very similar to me,.

“I felt like I wasn’t learning anything new until I got involved with the community group and met the most fantastic 90-year-old woman who was witty and charismatic, and we genuinely got on so well.

“It inspired me to get involved with projects where I could meet more diverse people and I feel that so many others can benefit in the way I have if they were to get involved.”

Social club officer, Abbie Beckett, added: “For me, going in to a group of old people was quite intimidating at first because it’s not something I’m used to.

“At first people can be a bit tentative because in general we tend to hang around with people our own age, but after a while everyone loosens up and starts to really embrace the time spent together.”

About Summer Gedall, JMU Journalism