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Intergenerational connections before and during coronavirus

Clarion Housing Group

During the coronavirus outbreak, our lives have changed in ways we could never have imagined. But despite the challenges, the situation has brought people and communities together, breaking down generational divides and providing opportunities for people of different ages to interact and build relationships.

Working with InCommon, we’ve explored ways of sustaining intergenerational relationships at a time of crisis, creating a report which features stories from Clarion residents and partners and makes a series of recommendations to enable housing associations to embed intergenerational connections into all areas of their work.

In May, 248 Clarion residents took part in a survey which looked at how people of different ages have supported each other and developed new relationships through the early phase of the pandemic.

We found that just 17% of those surveyed were aware of any projects in their area connecting people of different ages, but people shared examples of some informal ways in which intergenerational connections were being maintained, or initiated for the first time during lockdown.

48% of those surveyed agreed that they and their neighbours were helping each other out in new ways, and many expressed optimism that intergenerational connections and community spirit would be sustained once lockdown ends.

Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities for Clarion Futures, said: “Over the last year, we have developed and implemented a strategy for how we'll help residents lead better lives as they grow older in our communities, and we’ve made a positive start, adapting to challenges created by the coronavirus outbreak. We’re delighted to have worked with InCommon on this report and hope that more Clarion residents will share their views and experiences as we continue our research on this important topic.”

Charlotte Whittaker, Co-Founder of InCommon, said: “At InCommon, we believe that intergenerational relationships can be a wonderful and enriching part of life for people of all ages, and we aim to create a space for these relationships to grow. As we’ve spoken to others for this report, it has been encouraging to hear stories of sustained and strengthening relationships despite the lockdown. We hope sector leaders will find it useful to read about what’s happening in communities, and some thoughts about how we can all play a part in sustaining intergenerational connections over the coming months.”

To gain a clearer picture of the impact of lockdown on communities, we will be conducting further resident surveys in June and August using our resident engagement platform, Clarion Voice. To take part, register for Clarion Voice today.

Read the report here.