"A community charity recruits young professionals, often graduates with families elsewhere, to visit older neighbours. It says this reduces loneliness and isolation among both the volunteers and those they help."
"We need more of this type of interaction across our regions. Civil society can lead the way by being innovative and responsive to the changing demands — and language — of the world around them. This means moving beyond the traditional ‘service’ model defined by the provision of ‘help’ given by staff or volunteers to ‘clients’ — in favour of a more mutual approach."
"Alex Smith, who runs community networks in Manchester and London, says that it’s important to look at how segregated our neighbourhoods have become, as the housing crisis drives old and young apart. “Where I feel the generations have become estranged from one another is in the lack of sharing time, laughter, experiences, relationships, everyday interaction,” he says. “That reduction of interaction – and therefore dialogue – occurs because of a shortage of mixed housing, lack of public squares, businesses that undervalue both youth and later-life experience, and a national culture and debate that stereotypes millennials and baby boomers as diametrically opposed.”"
"Thiis disconnection is fixable. Mixed-age housing developments and public services could make a difference. And it’s a problem we all have some capacity to solve. By spending time with people who are not like us – people whose age, life experiences, class and views on the world may differ substantially from our own – we can show that people from across perceived divides have so much to gain from one another."
"Spend time you’d otherwise waste on Netflix volunteering at a charity that runs a Love Your Neighbour scheme, connecting young professionals with elderly neighbours who might need help or just a chat over a cuppa. (There’s also one for south London)."
Polly Keane, 30, from Suffolk, volunteers with a charity connecting older and younger people. “I love visiting Audrey every week,” she said. “We’ve struck up a great, easy-going friendship. We also listen to each other’s problems – Audrey always has great advice. And most importantly we make each other laugh.”
"Ever wondered who your neighbours are? Try out cooking clubs or pottery painting classes, where you can hang out and learn from those who need a bit of laughter in their life. Or try Love Your Neighbour, which matches you with a neighbour."
"It’s easy to become isolated in a big city like London, but a charity is working to build a sense of community by bringing together young professionals and their older neighbours at regular social events and through one-to-one activities. Founder Alex Smith is adamant it’s not a “befriending” scheme as the benefits are two-way, with the younger volunteers getting as much out of the interactions as the older participants. A similar scheme has been launched in south London.
"Love Your Neighbour helps to connect people who may not ordinarily have met, thereby helping to soften the unsettling effects of globalisation, gentrification, digitisation and urban transience, factors which can accelerate isolation and loneliness in London. Kathleen said that the scheme has reinforced her faith in the kindness of people."
"I didn't really know how I was going to manage. But I persevered and found this beautiful cooking class. And I've never looked back since."
“l love coming here. We learn a new recipe every week and it gets me out meeting interesting people instead of sitting at home looking at four walls. I was talking to a couple of students the other day. One of them had been to India and Dubai; another had just got a job in a film company. Young people really are adventurous and go-getters these days.”
"Gentrification, digitisation and commercialisation have disrupted once familiar and stable communities. Older people have become invisible in their own fragmented neighbourhoods. [It's time to] roll this out across the country."
"A community network that connects young people with their elderly neighbours is celebrating signing up 700 volunteers. Hundreds of people aged between 20 and 30 have signed up to spend time with older neighbours, either by visiting them at home or meeting up at one of the initiative’s events."
"Tackling this challenge is going to require a huge effort from policymakers, families and communities. Good work is already being done, with clinical commissioning groups and local authorities referring to myriad organisations to make interventions. And we can all make a difference right away."