Friends of the Elderly is an Irish volunteer-based charity established in 1980 to bring friendship and companionship to older people living alone or who feel lonely.
The charity has a comprehensive programme for schools and is seeking schools and students to take on fundraising and other activities as part of their school programmes.
The Friends of the Elderly schools’ programme aims to increase young people’s knowledge of the ageing process and in doing so help to create a better understanding of what the challenges older people in your community may face and how these challenges may lead to social isolation.
Connections between young and old have declined in recent times. We are living in a constantly changing world, families are smaller and many have moved away, leaving older people with fewer connections to their community. This can lead to social isolation and missed opportunities for young and old alike to learn from one another.
Evidence shows that intergenerational contact is effective in combating loneliness among older people and in fact improves the health and well-being of both groups.
A key objective of Friends of the Elderly’s schools’ programme is to both support and develop inter-generational projects throughout educational establishments, youth and community groups where young and old share their skills, knowledge, or experience. Intergenerational projects strengthen communities and enable them to become more age-friendly by breaking down barriers between ages.
Students, classes or schools who would like to undertake a project or a fundraiser can contact Deborah at Friends of the Elderly by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01 873 1855.
Friends of the Elderly’s address is 25 Bolton Street, Dublin 1 and online at www.friendsoftheelderly.ie.