Community Papers

Seniors and youth on Common Ground

A group of Prince George seniors discuss what youth need to know about seniors and how to address each other.  - Photo submitted
A group of Prince George seniors discuss what youth need to know about seniors and how to address each other.
— image credit: Photo submitted

In September 2012, the Prince George Council of Seniors launched an innovative program called “Finding Common Ground” designed to bring youth and seniors together to explore intergenerational communications with a focus on volunteerism.

This program, funded by New Horizons for Seniors, began with a series of three day-long workshops. The first day, devoted specifically to youth between the ages of 13 and 30, considered what participants knew about the older generation, their recent contact with seniors and what those experiences had been like, whether family, friends or the media influenced their opinions about seniors, and any issues that might prevent youth from interacting – or interacting more – with the older generation. Youth were also asked to define a senior.

The second day, devoted specifically to adults 55 or older, considered the same questions about the younger generation.

The third day brought both groups together. Both youth and seniors agreed that their participation in “Finding Common Ground” had changed their definition of each other, that seniors and youth had much more in common than they had originally thought, and that their interest in volunteering with each other had increased considerably.

At the end of the third day, a new Action Team had formed, and that smaller group of seniors and youth have continued to meet regularly to enjoy socializing with each other, to discuss important issues introduced last fall, to continue learning about intergenerational communications as well explore new volunteer activities they could do together.

This Team has chosen a new logo with the acronym ‘E.A.S.Y.’ – ‘Exploring Activities for Seniors and Youth together’ – and has already taken on two projects of their own: Pennies for Dentures and knitting Chemo hats.

The P.G. Council of Seniors Denture Program – which relies entirely on community donations – helps low-income seniors who have exhausted all other possible avenues of financial assistance with needed dentures.

The Action Team is fundraising for this program and invites PGers to contribute their pennies. “Elderbeary”, the hungry Denture Program Bear, is waiting to be fed at the PGCOS office.

The second project the Action Team has undertaken is knitting Chemo hats for patients receiving treatments at the Cancer Clinic here in P.G. Donations of yarn or knitting skills can be directed to the Team through the PGCOS office.

Call 250-564-5888 for more information.

 

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