In 2022 Royal London awarded Youth United Foundation (YUF) a grant to pilot intergenerational projects between uniformed youth groups and care homes. With these funds, YUF commissioned Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) to deliver 4 national music projects whereby groups from Scouts, Girlguiding, and the Boys’ Brigade connected with their local care homes.
The initial six-week pilots included intergenerational music-making and creative training for the young people and staff, giving them the skills to use music as a tool to support their individual and community wellbeing. The project was aimed at helping young people increase their sense of citizenship and develop respect and empathy for older people in their community.
The pilots saw Scouts visit their local care homes at the Bridge of Weir in Scotland and in Banstead Surrey, the Boys’ Brigade meeting care home residents in Salford, and Girlguiding partnering with a care home in Horley, Surrey.
The outcomes of the project were overwhelmingly positive for both the young people and elderly residents. Young people not only grew in confidence but demonstrated personal growth – empathy for the residents and a greater understanding of the age group and the issues they may face. In turn the elderly residents demonstrated increased positivity throughout the project and were better able to meaningfully connect with others as they took part.
Funding is now being sought to deliver the next phase of this project.