Fulfilled living in later life
Pilgrims Friend Framland Friendship Is Ageless

Friendship Is Ageless

This year we're running a campaign - Friendship Is Ageless - to encourage older and younger people to connect

As a charity championing older people, we know what a blessing it can be when different generations come together. That's why to kick off 2022 we launched our campaign, Friendship Is Ageless, to encourage older and young people to connect.

According to our recent survey, the pandemic has made 68% of adults aged 18-34 more aware of the loneliness and isolation older people experience. But while three in five adults across all age groups agree that the younger generation (16-30 year olds) brings value through their energy, enthusiasm and outlook to the older generation (70+ years), only around a third of younger respondents (18-34 year olds) are aware of the value their practical support and friendship could bring to older people.

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So why not make 2022 the year you get connected with someone in a different age group? To help you get started, we've put together some Top Tips...

Top Tips for Getting Connected

1. LOOK UP
Next time you go for a walk, even if you are just going to the shops or the park, why not challenge yourself to look up and say hello to someone of a different generation? You could start by praying for them and the courage to speak to them.

2. POST A NOTE

Send a message or card to someone from your church, a neighbour, a relative or a resident at your local care home. If you are older, it could be the single mum down the road or the students next door.

3. DIVE IN

See what’s going on in your church and local community to identify opportunities to connect. You could consider volunteering at your church, New Kapporet (a Christian listening and prayer ministry), or calling your local care home to see how you might be able to interact with residents. If you are older you could get involved in the youth group, volunteer to help listen to young children reading in school or give time to Samaritans.

4. SHARE LIFE

Find out what someone needs or is interested in, whether it is help with homework, a family crisis or spiritual discipleship. Is it something you can do together or something you could share? For example, helping them to update their tablet software, reading the Bible together, swapping recipes or creating a joint playlist. You could encourage your church to set up special interest groups so hobbies and interests can be shared across the generations.

5. SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Share your story using the hashtag #FriendshipIsAgeless and tag @pilgrimsfriend. If you are a younger person this could be an opportunity to help someone older to connect online.

Stories of friendship and fun...

Brian and Louie's Story


Brian lives at Carey Gardens, our housing scheme in Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire. Louie, 4, showed Brian, his toy collection, so Brian showed Louie his. Brian builds his models from scratch, thank you Brian, for sharing your incredible craft with Louie.

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Prayer Week 2022

Join us 13th-19th June as we pray for people to connect across the generations as part of our Friendship Is Ageless campaign.

Find out more

In the media...


We're delighted that our Friendship Is Ageless campaign has been covered in the media. At the start of 2022, our Chief Executive Stephen Hammersley was featured on Premier Christian Radio, UCB and TWR and Louise Morse shared some thoughts with Pam Rhodes on Premier's Sunday Night Live. An article by our Director of Communications Alexandra Davis was published by Premier Christianity Magazine.

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Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 ran 9th-15th May with the theme of Loneliness. As part of this national week, we were able to share Friendship Is Ageless stories from Middlefields House, Chippenham and Shottermill House, Haslemere with local media, highlighting how our connecting across generations can combat loneliness:

Middlefields House

Volunteer Gemma, retired Vicar Brian and General Manager Chris spoke to Jill Misson on BBC Radio Wiltshire about the importance of inter-generational connections, life at Middlefields House, The Harvest Coffee Shop and more. The interview is available to listen to online for a limited period here.

Gemma's story about how she enjoys connecting with family members at Middlefields House, including Molly, was also shared in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald and the Wiltshire Times.

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Shottermill House

Jo is friends with Olive at Shottermill House. She spoke to Katie Martin on BBC Radio Solent about why her 20-year friendship with Olive means so much to her and why she'd encourage others to connect with someone of a different generation. The interview is available to listen to online for a limited time here.

Jo and Olive's story was also shared by The News in Portsmouth.

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More from our study...

• Three in five over 65s (59%) agreed the energy, enthusiasm and outlook of the younger generation (16-30 year olds) brought value to the older generation (70+ years).

• Of these, close to three-quarters (67%) agreed that the younger generation could help with technology to keep them connected digitally, half (53%) indicated their usefulness in helping with practical activities and tasks and a similar number of respondents (52%) valued the companionship and friendship of the younger generation.

• In comparison, only a third of the younger generation were aware of the value their help with technology (35% of 18-34 year olds) and companionship and friendship (32%) could bring, with even fewer (28%) noting the value of their help with practical activities and tasks.

• On the other hand, just over half of the younger generation (55%) agree that the older generation (70+ years) brings value through their life experience, wisdom and perspective to the younger generation (16-30), compared to 81% of those who are 65 years and older.

Resources from Pilgrims' Friend Society to help you connect across the generations...